11 July 2024

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) is negotiating with FIFA and its agent, seeking to reduce the US$36 million price tag for the World Cup broadcast rights for Thailand. The month long World Cup 2022 kicks off on November 20th.

Meanwhile, a company executive, who claims to have had a previous World Cup broadcast rights deal, suggested that the government recheck the broadcast contract, to make sure that Thailand is not being overcharged by FIFA’s agent.

SAT Governor Kongsak Yodmanee said yesterday (Thursday) that the 600-million baht, promised by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), covers just part of the 1.33 billion baht being sought by FIFA for the broadcast rights and that he is not sure that FIFA and its agent will agree to reduce the price further, because they have already discounted it from US$38 million to US$36 million.

He also said that he is not sure how many private companies in Thailand will pitch in to share the balance, because there are pending issues to be resolved, such as advertising rights and tax deductions.

An informed source said that the government has approached four major private firms, which have promised to provide a total of 800 million baht, with another 200 million baht expected to come from a fifth company.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan had earlier promised that the Thai audience would be able to watch World Cup matches, like other countries in the region.

Meanwhile, Kasemsan Veerakul, CEO of Se-Education Public Company, said that previous World Cup broadcast rights cost about 500 million baht. This has now, however, ballooned to over one billion baht, as he advised the government to check the contract carefully before signing.

He said that, previously, the TV rights were a package deal,which involved Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, but the agent or broker separated the deal for Thailand this time.