Differences over Thai football broadcast coverage remain unresolved

The Football Association of Thailand is refusing to concede to broadcaster TrueVisions’ opposition to changes to the Thai league schedule and maintains the season will restart in September.

The FAT and its current broadcaster held talks last Friday in an effort to resolve the issue. The discussions were led by FAT president Somyot Poompunmuang and TrueVisions chief media officer Ong-Ard Prapakamol, according to the Bangkok Post.

The FAT wants to resume the Thai League 1 season on September 12 and run it until May 15, 2021. That plan was put in doubt, however, when TrueVisions said it was unable to broadcast live matches beyond October 25, which is the end date for its contract.

TrueVisions is threatening legal action over the schedule change, and has also demanded a reduction in its rights fees due to a lower number of matches being delivered than stipulated in its original contract.

Somyot said: “I’d like to say that the FAT and True understand each other, we both are facing a tough time. We can’t force True to share losses with us so the season will resume on September 12 and True will show matches until October 25,”.

The FAT president also called for help from the Thai government and private companies in the country.

“The government and the private sector have to look after Thai football, which is the most popular sport in the country,” he added.

The broadcaster claimed the talks had gone smoothly but reiterated that it would only show live matches until October 25, the final day of the original 2020 Thai League 1 season. Ongard said: “The company will only pay rights fees for matches until that date.”