6 June 2024

Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has approved a draft announcement to cancel the “must have, must carry” rule, which has applied since 2012, and to conduct public hearings to get feedback from all stakeholders.

The “must have” rule requires companies holding broadcast rights for seven sporting events to allow broadcasting on free TV, while the “must carry” rule requires programs aired on free TV to be available on any platform without conditions, IPTV.

The seven sporting events, which fall under this rule, are World Cup, Asian Games, ASEAN Para Games, SEA Games, Asian Para Games, Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

At its meeting on Thursday, the NBTC agreed to cancel the NBTC announcement of 2012 regarding the “must have, must carry” rule for the seven sporting events.

Results of feedback from all stakeholders about the decision to cancel the rule must be returned to the NBTC’s office within 30 days, which will then be considered by the NBTC before the issuance of a new announcement.

The “must have, must carry” rule has, recently, come under heavy criticism by critics and members of the public over the Sports Authority of Thailand’s insistence on broadcasting live the SEA Games, to be hosted by Cambodia, in May, using funding from the NBTC’s Broadcast and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for Public Interest (BTFP) to buy the 28 million baht broadcast rights from Cambodia.