Free-to-air television channels True4U, Amarin TV and Channel 5 have secured rights in Thailand to national team football tournament the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
The deal was announced today (Monday) by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, who is also president of the Sports Authority of Thailand Commission.
The Thai government has acquired the rights from the Infront agency, which holds the rights to the World Cup in Thailand and other Asian markets.
The Thai government lists the World Cup, along with other major sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games, as occasions reserved for free-to-air coverage in the country.
Thai newspaper The Nation said nine private sector companies have made financial contributions to allow for the rights deal to be struck. They are: BTS Group, Thai Beverage Public Company, Charoen Pokphand Group, Gulf Energy Development, Kasikornbank, King Power International, PTT Global Chemical, Bangchak Corporation and Carabao Tawandang.
The Bangkok Post added that the rights cost around 1.4 billion baht (€36.3m/$44.4m).