True says it has signed contract with SAT for exclusive online World Cup broadcasting rights
Telecom giant True Corporation Plc on Monday issued a statement clarifying why people in Thailand could not watch the broadcast of the Fifa World Cup on online channels other than True.
In the statement, True said its three subsidiaries — True Digital Group, True Visions Group, and True4U Station — have entered into a contract with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) to purchase the rights to broadcast the Fifa World Cup being held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, so that Thai viewers could watch the event on free TV.
The SAT had received a budget of 600 million baht from the National Broadcast and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), but it was not enough to cover the cost of broadcasting rights, hence True had contributed 300 million baht in exchange for exclusive broadcasting rights on all channels and platforms.
“Under the contract with the SAT, True possesses the broadcasting rights of Fifa World Cup Final 2022 via cable, satellite, IPTV, Internet, mobile, OTT, and terrestrial transmissions,” said the statement. “However, under the NBTC’s must-have rule of 2012, only the broadcast via terrestrial transmission must be made available for free to the public.”
True said it therefore reserves the exclusive right to broadcast the event via channels and platforms other than terrestrial TV, to comply with the must-have rule as well as intellectual property laws.
Earlier on Monday, the Association of Digital Television Broadcasting (ADTEB) filed a complaint with the NBTC over what it said was unfair distribution of rights for the 2022 World Cup matches.
ADTEB claimed that True got exclusive broadcasting rights on all channels and platforms and was able to choose 32 matches including advertisement minutes from broadcasting channels, in violation of the NBTC’s resolution that all 64 matches must be distributed equally.