Thailand’s RS asks NBTC to relax regulations

Thai music and entertainment company, RS Public Company Ltd, has urged the National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to relax the ‘must-carry’ rule and allow it to broadcast only selected matches from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on FTA channels.

RS holds the Thai broadcast rights for FIFA World Cup 2014 matches and the NBTC has warned that a fine of Bt 17.3million (USD 532,376) will be levied if RS does not simultaneously broadcast all 64 matches simultaneously on free TV. The broadcaster has proposed to make just 22 matches available on FTA TV channels, with the rest shown through its STB.

“The “must carry” will unavoidably impact the company’s business and could lead to a breach of its rights contract with FIFA,” said Surachai Chetchotisak, president and chief executive officer of RS.

“Should RS or other companies advertise that people could watch more World Cup games via its set-top box than free TV, it would be deemed as an infringement. The punishment ranges from an initial fine of Bt 5 million (USD 153.869) plus Bt 100,000 (USD 3,077) each day and the licence of offending party rescinded,” he added.