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RS appeals for World Cup ‘deal’ for Thai broadcasting rights

Thai music and entertainment giant RS, which holds the Thai broadcasting rights for the FIFA World Cup 2014 matches, has asked the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to relax its “must carry” rule to allow the company to air only selected matches on free-TV channels, The Nation reports.

The rule currently obliges it to air all matches on free-to-air TV.

RS president and chief executive officer Surachai Chetchotisak said that RS would hold further discussions with the NBTC on this matter.

The “must-carry” rule applies to the Southeast Asian Games, ASEAN Para Games, Asian Games, Asian Para Games, Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Fifa World Cup Finals, which the public must be able to access.

The holders of broadcasting rights to those tournaments must allow them to be aired on free TV channels, besides their own media platforms.

RS recently sent a proposal to the NBTC that the regulation be relaxed on grounds that the company held the rights to broadcast the football tournament before the “must carry” rule was put in place. He proposed making only 22 of the tournament’s 64 matches available for free-to-air TV channels.

Surachai said he was concerned that the “must carry” rule could unavoidably impact the company’s business and could lead to a breach of its rights contract with FIFA.

The 20th FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014.