Thailand to haggle for discounted SEA Games broadcasting rights

Cambodia is the very first host country of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) to charge membership countries a broadcasting rights fee, costing US$800,000, or about 28 million baht.

Thailand plans to negotiate the cost before the games begin in May, citing that the fee is too expensive.

The secretary-general of the Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee and National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, Vath Chamroeun, recently announced on the official website of the SEA Games 2023 that member countries would be required to pay fees for broadcasting rights for the first time ever.

Vath explained that previous events had offered the rights for free, resulting in losses. He stated…

“Every country asked Cambodia to start doing this. In the past, broadcasting rights were offered free of charge, causing a loss. We will successfully operate this.”

According to KhaoSod, Vietnam and Malaysia have already paid for the broadcasting rights. The Vietnamese television channel, VTVcab, will broadcast the sports event, while the Malaysian television channel broadcasting the tournament has yet to be announced.

The exact budget that the two countries have spent on broadcast rights has not been revealed. However, KhaoSod reported that the host country had set the charge at US$800,000 or approximately 28 million baht.

Previously, no SEA Games event has charged for broadcasting rights. Laos attempted to implement the fee for the SEA Games in 2009, by charging 11 million baht from each country, but the project was unsuccessful as not every country could foot the bill.

In the past, host countries have typically asked for small fees to cover the broadcasting’s operating costs, which are minuscule in comparison. For example, Vietnam asked for about US$10,000 (350,000 baht) from each country and the Philippines asked for US$5,000 (175,000 baht).

The Sports Authority of Thailand reported that the cost of broadcasting rights in this case is too expensive. They plan to negotiate with Cambodia and may seek help from Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also the president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King (NOCT).

According to the NOCT, the Thai television channel that would broadcast SEA Game is the Television Pool of Thailand or T.V.Pool, and the broadcast via mobile network will be the responsibility of True Corporation.

The SEA Games 2023 or the 32nd SEA Games will take place from May 5 to 17 in Cambodia. The event will include 36 sports competitions, and participants will compete for 608 gold medals, the most ever in SEA Games history.

Cambodia has added new sports to the competition, including Cambodian kickboxing, Kun Khmer, and Ouk Chatrang, or Cambodian chess.

The host country has also made changes to some rules, such as limiting the maximum age of male footballers to 22 years old from the former maximum age of 23 years old.

Thailand to haggle for discounted SEA Games broadcasting rights | News by Thaiger

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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