Thai soccer fans will be able to watch all 64 World Cup 2022 matches in Qatar, due to kick off this Sunday, after FIFA and the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) reached an agreement on a price tag of US$33 million for the broadcast rights in Thailand.
SAT President Kongsak Yodmanee said that the price does not include the 15% tax, which the SAT will have to pay to FIFA. This will bring the total cost for the broadcast rights to about 1.4 billion baht.
He thanked Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, a member of the International Olympic Committee and Somsak Leeswadtrakul, an advisor to the Olympic Council of Asia, as well as the private sector which has helped fund the cost of the broadcast right.
Kongsak disclosed that Khunying Patama, in her capacity as a member of the IOC, had personally called FIFA President Gianni Infantino, seeking to help in the negotiations “until everything was settled”.
The SAT had sought about 1.6 billion baht from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission for the broadcast rights, but the regulator pledged only 600 million, forcing the SAT to seek the balance of the funding from the private sector. True Corporation, Thai Beverage and PTT have agreed to contribute a combined 400 million baht, which was still about 600 million baht short of the amount being demanded by FIFA.
The SAT tried to negotiate a further discount and sought help from various connections to convince FIFA to lower the price.
Kongsak did not elaborate as to from where the rest of the money, about 400 million baht, will come.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service