True4U to broadcast opener


True4U, a digital TV channel owned by True Corporation, will broadcast the 2022 World Cup opening match between host country Qatar and Ecuador, which kicks off on Sunday at 11pm.

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) on Saturday held an online meeting with 17 free digital TV channels to draw lots to decide which channels would broadcast which matches.

True4U is reportedly among the private companies which helped fund the broadcasting rights, sources said. The official list of other channels broadcasting the matches will be released later.

On Thursday, the SAT clinched a deal with Fifa to pay US$33 million (about 1.2 billion baht) for the rights to broadcast live all 64 matches of the World Cup 2022.

The price was first quoted at 1.6 billion baht when the SAT secured only 600 million baht on Monday from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

On Friday, the SAT board — chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon — approved a request by the SAT to borrow 1.4 billion baht from the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), a source said.

The source from SAT said Gen Prawit and Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, president of the Badminton Association of Thailand, played vital roles in reaching a deal whereby Fifa and SAT agreed on the price tag of US$33 million for broadcasting rights in Thailand.