Thailand is 1 billion baht short for World Cup 2022 broadcasting license

Thailand’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBTC) approved a 600 million baht budget today to purchase broadcasting rights so that Thais can watch the Fifa World Cup 2022 on TV.

However, broadcasting rights cost 1.6 billion baht leaving Thailand one billion baht ($US27.2 million) short with just 11 days to go to kick-off.

The NBTC committee sat down at 9.30am today and voted 4:2 to approve the budget to watch the tournament, which will kick off in Qatar on November 20.

Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) Kongsak Yodmanee said he had been in talks with the private sector about funding the rest of the money…

“I admit that I’m quite worried about how much money is left to find [for the broadcasting rights] because I thought the budget would be bigger than this. However, I will try to the best of my ability to source the extra money to the full amount in the little time we have left so that Thai people can watch the World Cup.”

The comment comes just one week after Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said no sponsorship from the private sector was needed for Thailand to make the budget. He also said Thai news had overstated the license fee and it was lower than one billion baht.

Just days before, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan “confirmed” that Thais would be able to watch the World Cup 2022 for free.

Despite Thailand having over 10 years to prepare for the tournament, broadcasting rights are yet to be purchased with just 11 days to go. But being last-minute is nothing new in laidback Thailand, so pigs might fly.

After all, Thais only got to watch the Euro 2020 because Thai business tycoon Komol Jungrungraengkit stepped in at the last minute and paid 300 million baht (around US$10 million at the time) for the media rights.

Had Komol not bought the rights, it was highly unlikely that Euro 2020 would have broadcasted in Thailand. Komol owns Aerosoft shoe company, and with Komol paying the media rights, every single advert broadcast during the contest was about sandals.

But the bill is over three times higher this time. Will anyone step up to the plate?

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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