Gen Prawit assures Thai soccer fans will definitely be able to watch World Cup final matches

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has assured that Thai football fans would be able to watch the live broadcast of the final 64 matches of FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia through Free TV during June 14 – July 13.

In his capacity as the president of the Thai Olympic Committee, Gen Prawit said on Wednesday (Jan 17) that the Government Lottery Office (GLO) and some private companies would jointly pay for the broadcasting right.

Concerned agencies were in talk with with the concession right owner for Asia, Infront Sports & Media, for the live broadcast of the World Cup’s soccer matches in Thailand, Gen Prawit said.

An informed source said private companies that agreed to join hands with the GLO in sponsoring the broadcast right in Thailand include the CP Group, Gulf Energy Development, King Power, Bangchak Corporation, Thai Beverage, BTS Group Holdings Plc.

The source said that GLO’s sponsorship of the World Cup broadcast had to be endorsed by the board and the GLO must be able to answer how the sponsorship would help in social development as the budget is expected to come from the GLO’s social development fund.

The government sought cooperation from the private companies to jointly buy broadcast right for the World Cup final matches after no media company was willing to negotiate for the broadcasting right due to the “Must Have” rule imposed by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

The “Must Have” rule, seven types of programme, including World Cup, must be broadcast free to audience although the right owner paid for the right.

Moreover, the broadcast right fee has sharply increased from the previous tournaments. It is estimated at about 1.5 billion baht, including one billion baht for the broadcast right plus 15 percent tax and other expenses.