SAT, NBTC taken to court over exclusive World Cup broadcast rights to True
A public representative on Monday sued the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) and National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) for ceding control of the country’s World Cup broadcasting rights to telecom firm True Corp.
Kuntida Keadkhankaw, a lawyer at Stato Public Law Firm, said at the Central Administrative Court in Bangkok's Lak Si district that she has been authorised to represent Noppadol Wongwihok, a public representative, to file the lawsuit against the SAT and the NBTC.
She said the SAT became the World Cup broadcast licence-holder after purchasing broadcasting rights costing 1.4 billion baht from Fifa.
Of the total amount, 600 million baht came from NBTC's Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for Public Interest to ensure that all people could watch the World Cup matches free.
"However, the SAT made a contract to hand control over the country’s World Cup broadcasting rights to True via its platforms, such as IPTV, internet and mobile transmissions," she said.
"Meanwhile, there is a block on World Cup broadcasts on other telecommunication companies' platforms."
She said these actions were proof that the SAT and the NBTC had been negligent in performing their duty to ensure that all people could watch the World Cup matches for free.
Kuntida pointed out that more than 1 million people have set top boxes of other telecommunication companies and are unable to watch the World Cup matches.
She added that the legal team has already prepared evidence and is ready to clarify the issues at anytime in order to maintain fairness for all people.
Earlier, 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 appealed to the court for an injunction to protect the company’s exclusive rights to broadcast half of the 64 World Cup matches.