Former TVRI director claims Premier League rights acquisition led to sacking

Helmy Yahya, the former president director of Indonesian state-owned, public-service broadcaster TVRI has claimed that one of the main reasons he was sacked last week was his acquisition of English Premier League rights this season.

TVRI has sublicensed rights for live Premier League matches from OTT platform Mola TV, the league’s main rights partner in the market for the 2019-20 to 2021-22 cycle.

Helmy, also a prominent television presenter, held a press conference yesterday to defend his position, involving the presentation by his lawyer of a 1,200-page document in his defence. News website Kompas.com reported he said the supervisory board of TVRI “explained that [one cause of the dismissal was] the extraordinary purchase of Premier League broadcast rights”. Helmy disputes a claim by the board that he never reported to them details of the rights acquisition including the budget.

Helmy defended the acquisition, saying: “All of the TV stations in the world want to buy killer content or locomotive content that makes people watch”.

The TVRI board has also questioned Helmy’s decision to change the TVRI logo and to revamp the broadcaster’s long-running Siapa Berani quiz show, which he used to host.

Helmy was removed from his position on January 16.