2022 FIFA World Cup Local Broadcast Still in Doubt

According to the latest comments by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the local broadcast of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is still in doubt.

Yesterday, the NBTC revealed that it was still waiting for the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) to deliver a report to purchase the rights to broadcast this year’s championship.

NBTC Acting Secretary General Trairat Viriyasirikul said the commission had asked the SAT to send the necessary budget reports last week.

Mr. Trairat said the NBTC has not yet received the documents. However, he added that the commission could hold an urgent meeting to consider purchasing the rights to broadcast the event once it starts on November 20 if the SAT does not deliver the requested reports.

Since the NBTC only acts as a provider of budgets for broadcasting rights, the SAT must handle the negotiation with the representatives of the FIFA World Cup, Mr. Traitat added.

However, according to SAT Governor Kongsak Yodmanee, the budget documents for the 2020 FIFA World Cup were sent to the NBTC on Thursday.

Earlier, Isra News Agency quoted an NBTC source as saying that NBTC board chairwoman Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck had proposed at a meeting last month to withdraw 1.6 billion baht from the commission’s research and development fund to buy the broadcast rights.

But Mr. Kongsak stated that once the budget is approved, the SAT and the NBTC must sign a memorandum of understanding before buying the rights to broadcast the tournament.

The arrangements would be finished before the event’s first day. Also, the number of public channels that could broadcast the matches would be determined by the conditions set by the NBTC, he added.

Meanwhile, local fans continue to express concern about this year’s World Cup broadcasting, saying that no broadcaster in Thailand has shown enough interest to secure broadcast rights to the matches despite the event taking out this month.

This year, the FIFA World Cup is set to be held in Qatar, bringing together 32 football teams from all over the world in a total of 64 matches from November 20 to December 18.