Thailand’s World Cup fans won’t miss any matches after broadcast deal sorted

Thailand’s World Cup fans won’t miss any matches after all as a broadcast deal has been sorted between FIFA and the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT). The news comes with a collective sigh of relief after many fans in the kingdom thought they might miss the first matches that are scheduled for this Sunday. As the SAT came up short with the required monies to pay for the broadcasting subscription, the issue has finally been settled.

According to Thai PBS World, the agreed price was settled at US$33 million, but SAT President Kongsak Yodmanee noted that the price does not include the 15% tax that the SAT will have to pay to Fifa. With the tax included, the new cost comes at 1.4 billion baht.

Kongsak thanked Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, the International Olympic Committee, an advisor to the Olympic Council of Asia, and the private sector for their help in funding the broadcast rights cost.

Khunying Patama, a member of the IOC was specifically thanked after Kongsak says sly called the FIFA president to help settle the negotiations. Previously the SAT sought 1.6 billion baht from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission for the broadcasting rights of the 2022 World Cup, but the regulator pledged 600 million baht, leaving a gap in the amount needed to secure the broadcasting rights.

The SAT then sought help from the private sector with Thai Beverage, PTT, and True Corporation agreeing to contribute 400 million baht to the funds. But, even with the private sector’s help, the total was still not enough.

After a deal was still not reached, fans in Thailand prepared to possibly miss the first few of the 64 matches in total as no news had come of an agreement. But, as of yesterday night, Sunday night’s games are now officially to be broadcast over Thai TV, despite Kongsak not revealing where the rest of the money will come from. Regardless, an agreement has been reportedly reached, with fans set to enjoy the largest sports competition in the world from the comfort of their own homes.

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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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