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Unhappy digital TV broadcasters complain to watchdog about World Cup rights distribution
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2022
The Association of Digital Television Broadcasting (ADTEB) on Monday filed a complaint with the National Broadcast and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) over what it said was unfair distribution of rights for the 2022 football World Cup matches.
The NBTC had approved a contribution of 600 million baht to acquire the broadcasting rights for the Fifa World Cup.
The ADTEB said there was unfairness in the distribution of broadcast rights after the first meeting on Thursday. It said that as per the agreement, the broadcasting rights of 64 matches were to be distributed equally to digital television operators.
The ADTEB submitted three points to the NBTC to investigate and consider whether the distribution was fair:
● A contribution of 600 million baht to acquire the rights came from the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for Public Interest (BTFP).
The budget was from television operators to support, promote, study, and develop broadcasting and that is why they also supported the purchase.
The ADTEB said that the funding supported the purchase of rights for 64 matches, not 32 matches, and accounted for 40 per cent of the total budget needed for acquiring the rights.
However, private broadcaster True was allowed to select important matches, which reflected inequality and unfairness.
● True contributed 300 million baht for purchase of the broadcasting rights but the company got exclusive broadcasting rights on all channels and platforms and was able to choose 32 matches including advertisement minutes from broadcasting channels.
The NBTC had contributed 600 million baht with a resolution that the broadcast rights of all 64 matches be distributed equally.
However, they distributed only 32 matches so ADTEB viewed the proportion as unfair and not equal while it was also beneficial to a single private company.
● The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) held a meeting to distribute broadcasting rights on Saturday from 10am to 4pm. It allowed the main sponsor, True, to choose 32 matches and left the balance 32 matches to other channels.
The ADTEB said that the association and its members conveyed to the SAT several times that the practice was unfair and unequal, but the SAT had ignored their objections.
The association then decided to approach the NBTC’s board that its members did not agree with the SAT, and had unwillingly accepted the decision at Saturday’s meeting as it would affect the broadcast on Sunday.
The association said that it did not accept the SAT’s principles and methods in distributing the broadcasting rights and asked the NBTC to investigate and consider their complaint.