Seven firms to sponsor Cup broadcast
Public and private firms form partnership to acquire Russia 2018 TV rights for Thailand
>> The doubts hanging over the live broadcast of the 2018 World Cup matches have been cast aside as seven private companies and state enterprises joined hands to buy the rights.
Sakol Wannapong, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, held a meeting with the seven yesterday.
They are King Power International, CP All, Thai Beverage, PTT, Gulf Energy Development, Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) and Government Lottery Office.
King Power will lead the group in talks with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and world football’s governing body Fifa, Sakol said.
The broadcast rights cost about 1.3 billion baht and the seven will invest equally.
Live matches will be shown on three free TV channels, according to the SAT governor.
“They are ready to help so that Thai people can enjoy watching the matches live,” Sakol said.
“They have nominated King Power to coordinate with the NBTC.”
Sakol said King Power was given the job because it has experience in international football as it owns English Premier League team Leicester City and Belgian second division side OHL.
He said his agency will try to find ways to help the sponsors with tax reduction.
All World Cup matches have been televised live in Thailand since the 1990 finals.
The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14-July 15.
Meanwhile, this year’s World Cup could be an “attractive target” for Islamic State given Russia’s role in the territorial defeat of the militant group, the UK-based analysis firm, IHS, said.
“A successful attack [in Russia] would provide a tremendous propaganda boost for the Islamic State and its fighters and supporters, underlining the ongoing international threat posed by the group despite its territorial defeat,” an IHS report said.
The participation of the national teams of Saudi Arabia and Iran in the tournament provided an even greater incentive for the group to target it, the report said.
Despite losing all territory in Iraq and Syria by November last year, the group claimed major attacks in Istanbul, London, Manchester, Barcelona and Tehran, killing dozens of civilians. It targeted the Muslim holy city of Medina, in Saudi Arabia, in 2016.
Attacks claimed by Islamic State rose slightly in 2017, to more than 4,500, despite its territorial losses, but fatalities from the attacks dropped by two-fifths compared with 2016 to about 6,500, the IHS said.
“As it came under growing territorial pressure, Islamic State transitioned back to insurgent operations, conducting a higher tempo of low intensity violence against security forces and non-state adversaries in areas newly recaptured from the group” in Iraq and Syria, said Matthew Henman, head of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, in the report.
A video screen shows 2018 World Cup mascot Zabivaka on the Manezhnaya Square outside the Kremlin in Moscow.