Thailand will not pay ฿28m to Cambodia for SEA Games broadcast rights
Cambodia is asking US$800,000 (~28 million baht) for the live broadcast rights to the SEA Games, which it will be hosting in May, but none of the participating countries, including Thailand, are willing to pay, claiming that the price is too high.
An informed source at the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), said that they cannot afford the price, because it does not know from where the money will come. They will, however, try to negotiate with their Cambodian counterparts to reducer the fee, adding that it is not known which TV channels are interested in buying the rights.
In the end, he said, the SAT may have to seek help from Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, in his capacity as chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, and the money may have to come from National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s research and development fund, because the Sea Games are one of the seven sporting events classified in the “Must Have” category.
The source pointed out that, normally, the host of the SEA Games charges a token fee for the live broadcast rights, citing the case of Vietnam, which charged only US$10,000, and the Philippines’ charge of US$5,000.
The source also referred to the case of Laos, when it hosted the SEA Games in 2009, which was the first time that the SEA Games Committee agreed to allow the host country to demand payment for live broadcast rights.
Laos asked for 11 million baht, but none of the participating countries paid, said the source, adding that, since then, no host country has tried to charge a fee of more than US$10,000, until now.