Thai regulator seeks funding for Olympic rights

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, Thailand's broadcasting regulator, is seeking THB150m (€3.8m/$4.4m) in additional funding to support a bid by a group of domestic broadcasters to acquire rights to the 2016 Olympic Games.

According to Thai newspaper The Nation, the NBTC’s broadcasting committee has agreed to submit a budget request to the board of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for the Public Interest.

The NBTC said that the additional funding would enable all 22 commercial digital-terrestrial television stations in the country to broadcast free-to-air coverage of the Games, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro from August 5-21.

The TV Pool consists of the Public Bangkok Entertainment Company’s Channel 3, army-run TV5, Bangkok Broadcasting and Television’s Channel 7, MCOT's Modernine TV and the Public Relations Department's NBT.

Previously, rights to the Olympic Games in Thailand were managed by the founding members of TV Pool. However, the introduction of digital-terrestrial television in the country two years ago has meant other broadcasters are now interested in acquiring rights.

The Games remain on the NBTC’s ‘must-have’ list for free-to-air coverage in the country.