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All World Cup matches to be aired: NBTC
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) yesterday reassured bleary-eyed football fans that all remaining World Cup matches would be telecast on Army-run Channel 5, state-run NBT and Thai PBS after two important matches were left out.

Takorn Tantasithm, secretary-general of the NBTC, said RS, the rights holder, gave the excuse for the no-show of the Brazil-Chile and Netherlands-Mexico matches on Saturday and Sunday nights as a delay in receiving permission from Fifa, the global football body, to broadcast live matches on Channel 11.

Takorn cited a statement from RS International Broadcasting and Sport Management as also claiming that the two matches were not aired on Channel 5 because regular programmes were already running at 11pm on Saturday and Sunday, and that attempts to contact Fifa were not successful because its people were off for the weekend.

The Fifa statement allowing additional World Cup matches to be aired on other channels besides Channel 5 and RS's digital Channel 8 and Channel 27 on RS's cable network just arrived yesterday morning, Takorn said, without mentioning whether it came by e-mail or by post.

There were no details on the schedules for non-commercial Channel 11 and Thai Public Broadcasting System (Thai PBS).

Takorn said Thai PBS could run no more than 10 minutes of commercials during a match.

'NBTC involved'

He repeated that the NBTC was involved in the televising of the matches on Channels 5, NBT and Thai PBS, while the agreement between RS and Channel 7 for the airing of certain matches on Channel 7 was cut as a personal deal between business partners.

RS chief executive officer Pornpan Techarungchaikul said the public "might have been mistaken" that there are only four free TV channels like before.

"That's all in the past, after the NBTC's digital-television auction and allowance of digital operations as a result.

"There are now 24 free channels that can be viewed through every platform available, except for reception through a home antenna, which requires a set-top box."

The World Cup tournament is now at the final-16 stage, entering the quarter-finals on Friday, semi-finals on July 8 and the final on July 13.

The third-place playoff is set for July 12.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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