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Govt could lend money for World Cup broadcast rights

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) can borrow money from the government for the purchase of broadcasting rights for the 2022 World Cup, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Tuesday.

With the sports agency desperately seeking funds for the broadcast rights, Mr Wissanu offered the SAT a possible solution to the problem.

It could use the money from the government to cover the payment and pay it back later, he said.

The deputy prime minister strongly opposed using the central budget to buy broadcast rights. That fund should be for emergencies such as natural disasters, he said.

The SAT still needs another 1 billion baht after the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission agreed to allocate only 600 million baht towards the cost of broadcasting the matches.

The international football federation (Fifa) has set the price tag for Thailand at 1.6 billion baht.

SAT’s governor said on Monday Fifa had agreed to slightly lower the price.

The World Cup is in Qatar this time, starts on Sunday and finishes on Dec 18.

With no private broadcasters interested in bringing all matches to their stations, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon promised two weeks ago to have matches live on Thai TV.

Prawit on Tuesday appeared to back off from his promise. “I don’t know”, he told reporters when asked about Thais’ prospects of watching the games. Bangkok Post

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