TV provider Cable Thai Holding (CTH), which has the Thai broadcasting rights for the English Premier League (EPL), is suing the five-star Sukothai Hotel and its cable TV provider for alleged violation of its broadcasting rights in screening football matches without permission, and is demanding 50 million baht compensation.
This is the second case CTH has brough for breach of its EPL broadcasting rights in Thailand.
In September it sued computer giant Apple for selling an application, Sport Channel, through its App Store that enable people to view the matches on mobile devices, seeking 100 million baht in damages.
On Tuesday, CTH lawyer Suratchai Munsrithavorn filed suit against Charoean Team Cable Network Co and Sathorn Park Co, the operator of Sukothai Hotel, with the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court and the Criminal Court, alleging violation of CTH’s sole broadcast rights to EPL games in Thailand until mid 2016.
The company said the cable firm used the Astro signal drawing signal from Laos to broadcast the games, while the hotel charged its clients cable TV fees, so CTH seeks 50 million baht compensation, plus 7.5% interest per annum.
The case has been listed for first hearing in the Criminal Court on Nov 18 and in the Civil Court on Dec 23 -- the same dates as the first hearings for the Apple cases.
The law provides for a maximum penalty of four years in prison for this kind of violation of international intellectual rights
Sukothai Hotel is the first hotel to be sued by CTH, which plans to bring lawsuits against other hotels, entertainment venues and restaurants if they do not stop showing matched, said Yindee Limpivet, a CTH legal consultant.
CTH is a newly established cable TV firm, set up in 2012. The company is a joint investment between Wichai Thongtang, the veteran investor, and Vachara Vacharaphol, the chief executive of Trend VG3, who each have a 25% stake in CTH.
Mr Vachara is the third generation of the family that owns Thai Rath, the biggest selling newspaper in Thailand.