Thailand World Cup fans may miss first match after broadcast pricing agreement stalled

Thailand World Cup fans may miss the first match after the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) failed to agree on broadcast pricing with FIFA. According to Bangkok Post, the SAT failed to agree on a price with FIFA, with the Deputy Prime Minister saying that there is a high chance that an agreement would not be concluded in time for the first match on Sunday.

FIFA has set the TV broadcasting rights for Thailand at 1.6 billion baht, but SAT has requested it to be lowered to 1.2 billion baht. Presently, the SAT has only 600 million baht from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s research and development fund along with 200 million baht from the SAT. Another 400 million baht has been pledged by private companies. But, the amount is still short by 400 million baht.

Thailand’s Deputy PM says the SAT can borrow from the government but he opposed using the central budget to buy broadcasting rights. The football governing body had agreed to lower the price a bit, but SAT governor says it needs to fulfil the promise made by the PM to air all matches live and free of charge on Thai TV. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha then appeared to backpedal yesterday by saying he didn’t know after being questioned by reporters. He then noted that the broadcasting fee was too high and said it was the duty of the negotiator to bring it down.

The World Cup kicks off on Sunday with the final on December 18. The first match kicks off at 11 pm between Qatar, the host country, and Ecuador.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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