Sunday deadline looms to conclude World Cup broadcast deal for Thailand

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) has until this Sunday to conclude a deal with FIFA for World Cup 2022 broadcast rights in Thailand, otherwise the Thai audience will miss out on the chance to see the matches.


SAT Governor Kongsak Yodmanee admitted that, as of today (Monday), they are still short of about one billion baht to meet the cost of the broadcast rights, as they continue trying to negotiate a further discount.


A memorandum of understanding is scheduled to be signed today between the SAT and the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) for the 600 million baht already pledged by the NBTC board.


Kongsak said that FIFA has not yet responded to the SAT’s request for a further reduction of the 1.6 billion baht price tag, but he expects to receive a reply today.


An informed source said, however, that FIFA is unlikely to cut the rights fee to US$30, million as requested by the SAT, after it has already offered a US$2 million discount, from US$38 million to US$36 million.


The source also said that FIFA is insisting that it will not sell a smaller package of broadcast rights either, such as only for the second-round matches of 16 teams, and will only permit the purchase of the full package of 64 matches.


Kongsak has dismissed a report that True Corporation, Thai Beverage Plc. and PTT Plc, have already committed to subsidising about 500 million baht of the fee.


He said that there have been no firm commitments from the three companies, other than verbal assurances.


It is reported but unconfirmed, however, that the SAT is expecting more funding from PTT Exploration and Production and Major Cineplex Group.


World Cup 2022 is scheduled to kick off in Qatar on November 20th.


Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service