RS seeks compromise on World Cup coverage

RS has asked the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, Thailand’s media regulator, to relax legislation that would force the pay-television operator to allow free-to-air broadcasters to show the 2014 Fifa World Cup national team football tournament in its entirety, according to the Nation newspaper.

Under the so-called ‘must carry’ rule, RS, which has exclusive television and online rights for the 2014 World Cup in Thailand, has to make all 64 matches at the tournament available to free-to-air television.

RS has suggested a compromise of allowing 22 games to be shown on free-to-air television and has argued that it should be able to show most of the games exclusively as it acquired the rights before the legislation was introduced last year.

RS president and chief executive officer Surachai Chetchotisak said that allowing all of the games to be broadcast on free-to-air television would have an adverse impact on his company and could also contravene the existing rights deal with Fifa, football’s global governing body.

The ‘must carry’ rule applies to sporting events of particular public interest in Thailand. The legislation currently applies to the Southeast Asian Games, Asean Para Games, Asian Games, Asian Para Games, Olympic Games and Paralympic Games multi-sport events, as well as the World Cup.