Broadcasters cry foul after True dominates World Cup match allocation
Digital TV broadcasters said they will file a complaint to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) on Monday over the allocation of 2022 Fifa World Cup matches.
The move comes after the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) handed 32 of the 64 matches to True Corp’s True4U channel – leaving only 32 matches for 16 other digital television operators.
True Corp is a subsidiary of Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), which was reportedly among three corporations that helped fund the purchase of the broadcast rights for 1.2 billion baht.
The Association of Digital Television Broadcasting (ADTEB) will file the complaint on behalf of the 16 broadcasters, namely T Sports 7, Channel 3, Channel 5, Channel 7, Channel 8, Channel 9 MCOT, NBT, TPBS, Thairath TV, Amarin TV, Mono 29, PPTV 36, GMM 25, Nation TV, ONE 31, and JKN18.
The 32 matches allocated to True4U comprise the final, third-place playoff, one quarter-final, two semi-finals, four round-of-16 matches and 23 first-round matches.
ADTEB secretary Dew Waratangtragoon, who is also CEO of broadcaster ONE Enterprise, said the allocation of matches was done by lottery but was still basically unfair.
Dew pointed out that the NBTC had allocated 600 million baht from the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for Public Interest (BTFP) to ensure that all people could watch the World Cup matches and maintain fairness in allocating the broadcasts.
"Hence, SAT's move to allocate 32 of the 64 matches to True4U does not meet NBTC's resolution to maintain fairness in broadcasting rights allocation," he said.
ADTEB will file a letter of complaint with the NBTC, asking it to examine SAT's move, he added.
Adisak Limparungpattanakij, an ADTEB consultant and Special Adviser to Nation Group, said the association had allowed SAT to allocate football matches to 17 digital television operators to ensure that all people will be able to watch the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador at 11pm Thai time on Sunday (tonight).
"If NBTC stands by its principle of thoroughness and equality, ADTEB still reserves the right to disagree with SAT's move," he said.