TrueVisions scores goal with RS

TrueVisions viewers can now watch all 64 World Cup matches after the pay-TV operator struck a deal with RS Plc, the broadcast rights owner.

RS agreed to sub-license the right to TrueVisions on Monday, said RS chief operating officer Pornpan Techrungchaikul.

TrueVisions is now an official broadcaster of World Cup 2014 in Thailand under the model. 

All 64 matches will be broadcast on World Cup Channel created by RS, which will contain match highlights, re-runs and special World Cup programmes.

Thai football fans now have four options to view the games: PSI-O2 HD subscribers via high-definition picture, RS’s set-top box Sunbox with 299 baht fee, RS’ World Cup set-top box and TrueVisions’ subscribers who subscribe the package with HD quality.

The country's No. 2 entertainment company plans to air 22 football games on two free TV channels, Channel 7 and 8. They include the opening and final matches.

RS aims to generate 650 million baht from FIFA World Cup 2014, of which 80% will come from advertising revenue and 20% from sub-licensing contracts. Its World Cup set-top box is priced at 1,590 baht.

Toyota Thailand is the latest main sponsor, apart from Coca Cola Thailand, Chang beverages, AIS 3G 2100 and PTT Plc.

Ms Pornpan said the entertainment company expected to sell two million boxes during the World Cup tournament, of which one million will be World Cup boxes and the rest PSI O2 HD.

RS already sold 300,000 World Cup boxes. However, it is confident of exceeding the 1-million mark in the coming month. World Cup 2014 will be held from Jun 13 to July 12, 2014.

TrueVisions’ executive said its 2.4 million subscribers of all packages will be able to watch the World Cup Channel produced by RS.

TrueVisions has been a dominant pay-TV operator for years with popular sports content such as the English Premier League, La Liga Spain, Italian league Series A, UEFA European Championship and Thai Premier League.

After the fierce competition in pay-TV service, TrueVisions lost La Liga to RS and EPL to CTH, the new pay-TV operator. However, TrueVisions sub-leased La Liga from RS.

A source from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said this agreement may violate its must-have rule.

RS is still fighting a court case in the Supreme Administrative Court against the NBTC, which ordered the company to broardcast all 64 World Cup matches on free TV. The court will rule the case on Tuesday.

The must-have rule requires seven sporting events to be broadcast on free TV.

The Central Administrative Court in early April ruled in favour of RS but the broadcasting regulator appealed.

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