Thai Premier League domestic rights fee set for big increase

The Football Association of Thailand, the sport’s governing body in the country, expects the next cycle of rights to the Thai Premier League, the nation’s top football division, to generate a threefold increase in the rights fee, according to the Nation newspaper.

The report said that intense competition for the rights is likely to push the rights fee for the three seasons, covering 2014 to 2016, up to a total of Bt600 million (€15.5 million/$20.2 million), or Bt200 million per season. Pay-television operator TrueVisions, the incumbent rights-holder, paid a total of Bt200 million for the rights to the league for the three seasons from 2011 to 2013.

The newspaper said that TrueVisions would face competition in the upcoming rights auction from pay-television rival Cable Thai Holdings and the Singapore-based World Sport Group agency, helping to drive up the price.

“We're trying to provide the maximum sporting content for our subscribers,” Ong-ard Prapakamol, TrueVisions' chief commercial officer, said. “Although the Thai Premier League itself does not generate much revenue, it could help us attract more subscribers if we win the rights. It is worth bidding for, in terms of keeping our clients.”

An exact date for the auction has not been confirmed.