SAT proposes government to co-host buying right for FIFA World Cup 2018 broadcast

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) will propose the government to co-host with the private sector to buy live stream right from Infront Sports & Media in Singapore for live stream of FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.

SAT governor Sakon Wannapong is expected to propose Deputy Prime Minister Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn today.

The move by the SAT to have Thai people watching live stream of this most popular sports event in the world came after some countries in Asia and ASEAN have already bought broadcasting rights for the FIFA World Cup 2018 from Infront Sports & Media.

The company’s Singapore office is an exclusive sales representative for the distribution of broadcast rights to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups across 26 Asian territories including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

The SAT has earlier proposed the government, the private sector and digital channel operators to jointly buy broadcasting right after the money needed was huge or upto US$ 35 million (1.1 billion baht). However no conclusion has been reached.

The SAT saw the option to have three parties – the governnent, the private sector and digital channel operators – as very likely citing the live broadcast of FIFA World Cup four years ago by RS Group.

It said in that broadcast the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) had subsidised RS Group 427 million baht.

In the proposal today, the SAT will ask that the state regulator NBTC subsidies 500 million baht for the right purchase of the competitions.

The SAT seeks subsidy from the NBTC because of its “Must Have” condition which digital channels must broadcast free to audience on seven programmes, including FIFA World Cup.

Such condition forced digital operators and the private sector to hesitate as such huge investment in broadcasting right but offer free on air to audience will be an investment risk because they could not make profit from the broadcast of the world football games.