TV sports 'monopoly' tackled

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has drafted a regulation to prevent monopolies over major sports broadcasts.

  • Published: 16/02/2013 at 11:44 AM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The "non-exclusive list" rule will regulate companies that hold broadcasting rights for seven major sporting events to allow free channels to broadcast them. It will also set a fair price for sub-licensing fees.

"This will prevent a monopoly and allow more people to watch important sports," NBTC commissioner Thawatchai Jittrapanun said on Friday.

The rule will be put to a public hearing soon.

Availability of major sports programmes has been a hot topic since last year when RS Plc won the rights to the Euro 2012 football tournament.

Subscribers to TrueVisions could not watch the matches on the free-TV channels carried by the pay TV operator, which ran counter to the practice in most countries for broadcasting major events.

Col Chuchart Pimpresert, deputy secretary-general of the Television Pool of Thailand, said he agreed in principle with the non-exclusive list but said enforcing it could be difficult.

It will not be easy to settle fair sub-licensing fees as broadcasting rights holders always want to make the maximum profits, he said.

Vichit Aearevorakul, managing director of Charoen Ying (8888) Co, a cable TV operator in Bangkok, said he also agreed with the rule.

"The rule should be expanded to cover more programmes, such as national and cultural events," he said.

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