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Vietnamese broadcasters told to take football dispute to court

Vietnam’s government said a court must resolve a dispute over domestic football rights after digital broadcaster AVG demanded compensation from state-owned satellite broadcaster VTC for broadcasting the Vissai Ninh Binh v Dong Thap match live on New Year’s Day.

AVG claimed that its exclusive deal with the Vietnam Football Federation for live Super League and First Division matches had been violated by the broadcast. AVG agreed a 20-year deal, from 2011 to 2031, for the rights in December 2010. However, the legality of the deal is disputed by the Vietnam Professional Football Company, the federation’s commercial arm.

The VPFC said the federation’s original deal with AVG was illegal as it was not ratified by the federation’s member clubs. According to the Vietnam Bridge news website, the clubs support the agency’s stance against the AVG deal.

VTC says it was given special dispensation by the VPFC to show domestic football matches in the 2011 season, which began on January 1. The dispensation was given after negotiations broke down between AVG and VTC and several other broadcasters for sub-licensing deals for the matches.