Thai / English

Union slams MCOT over EPL sub-licence plan

MCOT's labour union has slammed its management over a plan to pay Bt480 million for audio-visual broadcasting rights for the English Premier League from CTH, a leading pay-TV operator, for three new seasons.

21 Jun 13
The Nation

After a meeting with MCOT chairman Sutham Saengpratoom and Chakkraphan Yomchinda, a committee member, union president Suvit Mingmol revealed that it was worried about the costly investment in the sub-licence, though the management has promised that it would break even within three years.

Suvit argued that the huge investment could cause financial problems for the company in the near future if the management failed to secure enough sponsorships for only 17 live matches of the EPL soccer tournament each season.

However, MCOT chairman Sutham Saengpratoom, said he believed the EPL telecast would boost TV ratings and revenue throughout the second half of this year and throughout the rest of next two seasons as the soccer league was an extremely popular sports event with numerous local fans.

He said selected live matches of the EPL would be telecast in prime-time slots, from 7pm through after midnight.

Under this sub-licensing agreement, MCOT will have the right to televise 17 key live matches per season and to air live audio of 380 matches a season via its nationwide station FM99 Active Radio.

Additionally, MCOT will obtain the rights to organise on-ground activities related to the EPL throughout the coming three seasons.

A committee of the MCOT's board will conclude at its monthly meeting next Tuesday whether to sign this deal.

An industry source revealed that the deal was expected to be sealed with total value of US$16 million (Bt480 million) for three seasons.

The source also said MCOT would sell a sponsorship package priced at Bt50 million for the live matches via television, radio and related activities.

CTH chairman Wichai Thongtaeng confirmed that his company was in talks with MCOT, the operator of Modernine TV, to grant it a sub-licence to broadcast 17 of the total 380 live matches in the coming season.

Early this year, CTH - known formerly as Cable Thai Holdings - made headline news after it secured audio-visual broadcasting rights for the EPL for three seasons from this year for Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

According to an unofficial report on, to secure the EPL broadcasting rights for the 2013-16 seasons, CTH has to pay about 202 million pounds (Bt9.72 billion), a 432-per-cent increase over the previous deal with TrueVisions, another leading pay-TV operator.

Meanwhile, to broaden the viewer base for the English soccer league, CTH had already signed a sub-licence agreement with Lao Star channel, a privately run terrestrial TV channel for broadcasting these matches in Laos. Meanwhile, the company is also in talks with a couple of TV broadcasters in Cambodia, and the deal is expected to be finalised in the near future.

Wichai added that the investment in the soccer league would reach break-even point within three years.