The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) said it is waiting for a budget report from the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) about purchasing the rights to broadcast the 2022 Fifa World Cup, leaving the domestic broadcasting of the event in doubt.
Trairat Viriyasirikul, acting secretary-general of the NBTC, said the commission last week asked the SAT to send the needed budget documents.
He said if they are not given to the NBTC board members by Wednesday, the commission may need to hold an urgent meeting to consider purchasing the broadcasting rights as the event starts on Nov 20.
Mr Trairat said the NBTC is only acting as the provider of the budget for the broadcasting rights. The period of negotiation with Fifa World Cup representatives will be up to the SAT, he said.
SAT governor Kongsak Yodmanee, however, has said that the required budget documents were sent to the NBTC on Thursday.
An NBTC source earlier told Isra News Agency that during an NBTC board meeting on Oct 28, Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck, chairman of the board, proposed drawing 1.6 billion baht from the NBTC’s research and development fund to buy the broadcasting rights.
Mr Kongsak said that after gaining the budget approval, SAT and NBTC would need to sign an MoU before purchasing the broadcasting rights.
He said arrangements would be finished before the first day of the tournament.
Mr Kongsak added that the conditions released by the NBTC would determine how many public channels would be able to broadcast the matches.
Local fans have expressed concern that no broadcasters in Thailand have shown sufficient interest in securing the rights to air the matches as the event nears.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be held from Nov 20 until Dec 18, with some 32 teams contesting a total of 64 matches.