World Cup broadcast war escalates as AIS ordered to halt screenings
The battle over World Cup broadcasting rights in Thailand escalated on Friday when AIS Playbox was ordered to stop showing matches from Qatar.
The Intellectual Property and International Trade Court on Friday evening ordered Super Broadband Network Ltd (SBN), operator of AIS Playbox, to halt its broadcast of the quadrennial football tournament.
The court order came after True Corporation appealed to the court for an injunction to protect the company’s exclusive rights to broadcast half of the 64 World Cup matches.
On Thursday, the telecoms regulator had announced that under the “must-carry” rule, the tournament must also be made available on internet platforms including 3BB TV, NT-TOT IPTV, and AIS Playbox.
The “must-carry” rule dictates that major sports events like the World Cup must be broadcast for free across all platforms in Thailand.
However, True pointed out it had signed a contract with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) for exclusive broadcast of 32 matches after contributing 300 million baht to SAT’s 1.4-billion-baht purchase of the broadcasting rights from Fifa.
True insists it owns exclusive rights to broadcast those matches, including the final, on internet and OTT (over the top) platforms. It said other operators in Thailand can broadcast the matches on terrestrial TV, pay cable and satellite TV platforms.