Broadcasting the World Cup in limbo
A man uses his mobile phone next to a mural in Doha on Friday ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. (AFP photo)
The National Broadcasting and Communications Commission (NBTC) said it is awaiting a budget report from Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) on the purchase of rights to broadcast the 2022 FIFA World Cup, leaving local broadcasting of the event in doubt.
Trierat Veriacericol, the NBTC’s acting secretary-general, said the committee last week asked the SAT to provide the required budget documents.
He said that if it is not handed over to NBTC board members by Wednesday, the committee may need to hold an urgent meeting to consider buying the broadcasting rights as the event begins on November 20.
Mr. Trirat said NBTC only acts as a budget provider for broadcasting rights. He said that the period of negotiation with the representatives of the FIFA World Cup will end for the SAT agreement.
However, SAT Governor Kongsak Yodmanee said that requested budget documents were sent to the NBTC on Thursday.
A source at NBTC said earlier Isra News Agency That during the NBTC Board of Directors meeting on October 28, Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck, Chairman of the Board, proposed to withdraw 1.6 billion baht from NBTC’s Research and Development Fund to purchase broadcasting rights.
Mr. Kongsak said that after getting the budget approved, SAT and NBTC will need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding before buying the broadcast rights.
He said that arrangements will be completed before the first day of the tournament.
Mr. Kongsak added that the conditions issued by the NBTC will limit the number of public channels that will be able to broadcast matches.
Local fans have expressed concern that no radio station in Thailand is showing enough interest in securing broadcast rights for matches as the event approaches.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, with around 32 teams competing in 64 matches.
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