Vietnamese broadcasters balk at hike in Premier League rights fee

The Vietnam Pay Television Association (VNPayTV) has maintained it will not go beyond a 20 per cent increase in the fee for the next set of broadcast rights in the country to football’s English Premier League.

The MP & Silva agency is acting as the Premier League’s exclusive sales representative for media rights in Vietnam and is currently marketing the package for the 2016-17 to 2018-19 seasons.

VNPayTV has stated it will only a pay a maximum of a 20-per-cent increase on the contract agreed for the current window, from 2013-14 to 2015-16, amid concerns that the rights fee could rise to as much as $100m (€89.2m).

Vice-chairman of VNPayTV, Le Dinh Cuong, told the website: “We won’t pay more than 20 per cent more for the package than for the contract that covered the last three seasons. If they (MP & Silva) can't accept the deal then we'll say no. I think many people will support us because we can't spend so much money. I think there are a lot of exciting leagues other than the Premier League.”

Concerning the progress of talks with MP & Silva, he added: “MP & Silva’s response on April 1 showed that they knew the value of their product and seem unwilling to offer a discount.

"They emphasised that they will choose which TV station they want in Vietnam and had the freedom to make offers to any station they wanted. They are seeking to diversify their copyright package to meet the demand of any Vietnamese TV station.”

All negotiations and the auction for the broadcasting rights will reportedly be concluded in May.