What’s ails Thai Football League as broadcast rights bid at all-time low?
The broadcasting rights bid for the Thai Football League has plummeted from a high of 1.05 billion baht three years ago to the lowest-ever bid of 50 million baht for this year.
Only one company has submitted its bid to acquire the comprehensive broadcasting rights for Thai football for 50 million baht.
The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) has called a meeting of the Thai League Co Ltd, involving representatives from 16 clubs, to discuss preparations for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
The participating clubs include Buriram United, BG Pathum United, Port FC, Chonburi FC, Ratchaburi FC, Muangthong United, Lamphun Warrior, Leo Chiangrai United, True Bangkok United, PT Prachuap, Khon Kaen United, Uthai Thani FC, Sukhothai FC, Trat FC, Nakhon Pathom United, and Police Tero FC.
In view of the low bid for the broadcast rights, a proposal has been put forward for the 16 teams in the Thai League to form a new company that will take care of their interests, similar to the model adopted by the English Premier League.
Under this proposal, 11 out of the 16 Thai League clubs are in agreement with this approach, while five clubs are yet to make a decision. The Thai League Co Ltd and the FAT will present this matter for further discussion at the upcoming board meeting scheduled for July 3.
The meeting revealed that only one bidder had submitted a bid for the league broadcasting rights.
Korrawee Pritsananantakul, the acting chairman of the Thai League, disclosed that the 16 teams in Thai League 1 have proposed a separation from the parent body and establish a separate entity to manage their own interests. This is due to insufficient funds to cover the live broadcasting management costs, which amount to over 300 million baht. The proposal will need to be approved by the Football Association's board, which is meeting on July 3.
The broadcasting rights for the Thai League have seen spectacular highs and lows over the years. From 2011 to 2013, the rights were acquired for 600 million baht for a three-year span, averaging 200 million baht per year. From 2014 to 2016, the rights were secured for 1.8 billion baht, averaging 600 million baht annually. At the peak, from 2017 to 2020, the rights were obtained for 4.2 billion baht, averaging 1.050 billion baht per year for a four-year duration. In the year 2021-22, the rights were purchased at a lower price of 800 million baht, but in 2022-23, the bid fell sharply to 300 million baht.