Tuesday, 7 May 2013

What price English Premier League broadcasts in Thailand?

TrueVisions' rights to broadcast EPL games in Thailand will end this month. The rights to broadcast games for the next three seasons have gone to Cable Thai Holdings, (CTH), a Bangkok based cable TV company.

The obvious question for those of us living in the provinces is how a Bangkok based cable TV company will broadcast EPL games to the rest of the country. 

The Bangkok Post suggested as recently as March 2013 that TrueVisions were attempting to sub lease broadcast rights from CTH but in today's Nation, CTH suggest they are trying to connect cable TV operators in 77 provinces in to one network.    

CTH Chairman, Wichai, refused to unveil the subscription fees for the EPL package or the price for its set-top box, only saying that the fee would be cheaper than that of the current rights holder. "The fee [for the full package] will be less than Bt1,000. It will depend on the number of subscribers. The more the number of subscribers, the less the fees," he said.

CTH's new digital set-top box will function as a three-in-one tool, enabling subscribers to watch television, use it as an Internet router, and as a tool for interactive participation - so-called social TV. The full phase will be completed by next year. It plans to increase its current 16 channels to 120 channels next year.

In the short term, it looks like EPL broadcasts could be available from sub lease broadcasters and local cable providers like Sophon, who will add Bt1,000 to their monthly fees. In the longer term, the unified cable network won't need sub lessee broadcasters and TrueVisions will face a significant challenges from a cable network offering almost unlimited Internet TV content from around the world.    

Two questions spring to mind and they are:

1. If Truevisions fail to win sub lease broadcast rights for EPL games will they drop their fees Bt1,000/-?

2. If I currently have Sophon connected to three TVs, will I need three CTH set top boxes to watch different Sophon channels on each TV. 

Of course it would be really good if CTH/Sophon could find the time to let us know what we have to do to get EPL 2013/14 broadcasts at home and in bars. Just three months to go and the clocks ticking.......

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