11 July 2024

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), Thailand’s broadcast and communications regulator, has demanded the return of 600 million baht, granted to the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) to purchase the World Cup 2022 broadcast rights for Thailand from FIFA, for alleged breach of contract.

Air Marshal Thanapant Raicharoen, a member of the NBTC, said today (Thursday), that they voted unanimously to send a letter to the SAT, demanding the return of the 600 million baht within 15 days.

The 600 million baht came from the NBTC’s Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund. The remaining 1 billion baht for the broadcast rights came from corporate sponsors.

Thanapant said that the SAT is obliged, under the contract, to comply strictly with the “Must Carry’ rule, which means that members of the public in Thailand should be able to watch all 64 matches on all free TV platforms, including Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), otherwise the SAT must return the 600-million baht to the NBTC.

He said that the SAT was warned in writing in November to follow the “Must Carry” rule, but the warning was not heeded, so the NBTC board had to take action and demand the refund.