NBTC tells True to return exclusive broadcast rights for 16 World Cup matches
True Corporation (True) has been asked to return exclusive Fifa World Cup broadcast rights for 16 of the 32 matches it was allotted, in order to maintain fairness in match allocation, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said on Tuesday.
The move came after 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.
The ADTEB claimed that True had been given 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.
The 32 matches allocated to True were: the final, third-place playoff, one quarter-final, two semi-finals, four round-of-16 matches and 23 first-round matches.
NBTC acting secretary-general Trairat Viriyasirikul said the SAT will reallocate 16 matches to other digital television operators.
"It is up to the SAT to decide which matches will be reallocated," he said, adding that True did not object to NBTC's move.
He said people in Thailand could not watch the broadcast of the Fifa World Cup on online channels other than True because of a contract between True and SAT.
He added that the SAT will talk to True about broadcasting match highlights.
Trairat added that the NBTC had acknowledged True's proposal to broadcast the World Cup final in high-definition system instead of standard-definition, but did not acknowledge the reason.
"The proposal is expected to be discussed at the NBTC board meeting on Wednesday," he added.