Teams, players and Thai TV rights dominate World Cup talk: online survey
Thais following the World Cup online are mainly interested in three topics – players/teams, broadcasting rights, and private sponsorship deals – according to Wisesight.
The internet analyst tracked how Thailand-based fans followed the tournament in Qatar from October 1 to November 20.
That period saw a total of 148,137 World Cup-related messages in Thailand, generating a whopping 23.6 million engagements (likes, etc), or an average of 463,157 per day.
Facebook was Thais' favourite method of following the tournament, with 75.87% of engagements.
Next came Twitter with 12.12%, YouTube (5.48%), and other platforms (6.53%).
The tournament has also revealed a huge gender gap. It is far more popular with male internet users, who posted 76.25% of World Cup-related messages compared with just 23.75% by females.
Online discussion was also dominated by youngsters, with people aged 18-24 generating more than half (51.1%) of World Cup engagements, followed by the 25-34 age group (35.61%).
Wisesight also ranked the top five World Cup topics online in Thailand:
1. Player/team news with 9,048,261 engagements
Most netizens were interested in individual players and also team updates.
2. Broadcasting rights (3,227,988)
Online interest soared when Thailand finally paid over 1 billion baht for World Cup broadcasting rights after last-minute negotiations with Fifa. Most Thai netizens agreed the rights were too expensive and said the government should have used the money for other things.
3. Request for private sector money to buy the broadcast rights (1,978,426)
The government was forced to seek 600 million baht from private firms – mainly True Corp, ThaiBev, and PTT – after failing to gather 1.2 billion baht needed to buy the rights under its “must-have” free broadcasts rule.
4. Jungkook BTS (1,238,617)
The K-pop star lit up Thailand’s internet when he performed at the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup on November 20.
5. World Cup promotional and advertising campaigns (923,752)
Huge brands climbing aboard the Fifa bandwagon to offer promotions for football fans include Adidas, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola.
Wisesight reported the internet was also buzzing with opposition to using public money to buy broadcasting rights for a tournament in which the Thailand national team is not competing. The “must-have” rule is only meant to cover international events featuring Thai athletes, such as the Olympic Games.