Fifa has threatened to pull the plug on Thailand's broadcasting of World Cup 2022 final matches if the kingdom fails to meet its standard encryption of broadcasting signals, the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) said on Wednesday.
The SAT has notified the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) about Fifa's warning that Thailand's transmission access was also being used in other countries.
The warning coincided with the release of a photo by Khaen Sarika, a popular Thai columnist, showing World Cup fans in Laos cheering their favourite teams on a TV screen. This is despite the fact Laos does not hold the right to broadcast any of the games.
SAT governor Kongsak Yodmanee has asked the NBTC to ensure all parties strictly follow Fifa's broadcasting transmission encryption standard. They were named as five multiplexer DTTs, Thaicom Plc, and all companies providing set-top box (STB) services.
Fifa has asked the SAT to strictly encrypt its over-the-air transmissions at least to the minimum standards called "BISS CA Director" or "Power/u", said Mr Kongsak.
Thaicom Plc and the providers of STB services cannot use the BISS 1 Simultcrypt as they are now doing, he said, or Thailand will forfeit its World Cup broadcasting rights.