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Thailand rules all World Cup matches must air on FTA

The broadcasting committee of the Thai National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission ruled that the 64 matches of next year’s FIFA World Cup must be televised over free-to-air (FTA) channels to comply with its “must-have” rule. reports that music and entertainment giant RS, which holds the Thai broadcasting rights for the World Cup matches, had asked the NBTC to relax the rule to allow the company to air only selected matches on FTA channels with the remaining matches to be aired on its pay-TV platform.

The must-have rule currently obliges it to air all matches on free-to-air television. Fully implemented late last year, the rule applies to seven events which also include the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, and the Olympic Games.

Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the broadcasting panel, said that in RS’s latest proposal, the company held that RS International Broadcasting and Sports Management, holder of the broadcasting rights to the World Cup final, did not obtain NBTC licences, so it was not subject to this rule.

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