Deputy Prime Minister Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn said yesterday (Oct 19) that it is still an inappropriate time to talk on the right for live broadcast of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
His comment came after the Sports Authority of Thailand has requested that the government to co-finance the broadcasting right which it said needs about US$ 35 million or 1.1 billion baht to obtain the right.
Gen Tanasak said it is still untimely to speak on the live broadcast of the FIFA football games.
The major problem that the government is facing is the massive flooding which it is trying to resolve, he said.
He said the live broadcast of the World Cup 2018 needs cautious consideration and has to weigh between pros and cons.
But he said there is also an option to gain the broadcast right if no private sector is willing to purchase it.
He said the government might act as a representative to talk to Infront Sports & Media itself and would designate TV Pool to arrange the broadcast.
But some source said the government might face strong criticism if it subsidizes the World Cup broadcast with state budget drawn from the Sports Development Fund.
The most likely option is to have the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) funding the broadcast similar to its earlier subsidising RS Group in FIFA World Cup 2014 up to 427 million baht.
There is an unconfirmed report that Dhosapaak Co, which won rights for FIFA World Cup 2002 and 2006 is also interested in opting for the broadcast right.
But this was not yet confirmed by the company’s executives.