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trueVisions retains TPL TV rights for a record breaking amount

Thai League 1
TV broadcasting rights for Thailand's top flight, the Thai Premier League, remain with Pay TV provider trueVisions for the next seasons to come. This has been announced recently on a press conference.

Dish and receiver clutter. Thus the situation presents itself actually for friends of football in Thailand. Especially for fans of European top football as they must fall back on several providers, if they do not want to miss out the action from all the top leagues. But if one is only interested in the domestic game, he won't have to deal with all the clutter. For the period 2011 - 2013, the broadcasting rights for the Thai Premier League is with trueVisions and will remain with true for the next and upcoming period 2014-16. For the record amount of 1.8 billion Baht, or a good 42 million Euro, the operator has retained the broadcasting rights of the most attractive domestic league in the region. The two rivals in the auction, GMM-Z and CTH, were without chance. Compared with the last and current contract, worth 200 Million Baht, trueVisions paid nearly 10 times more.

Like during the last years, the package encloses the TPL and the Division One. But for the new record sum, Thailand's biggest TV operator has also secured the rights to televise the FA Cup and the League Cup. How distribution will look for single TV channels, remains to be seen. Absolutely conceivable that the rights are handed on to Free TV partly, as seen before. So even fans who cannot afford the service of true can enjoy the domestic league.

The allocation of the revenue should occur after the following key: Every club of the TPL receives approx. 20 million Baht per year, every second division team 3 million Baht and every Regional League side 1 million Baht. For the clubs participating in the top tier, it means a gigantic jump in income. For comparison, the top clubs in 2013 have a budget of 100 million Baht on average. With it, we can expect not only the budgets to rise for 2014 and the following years; increasing salaries might be consectaneous.

Though the whole bidder's competition still ran rather nebulous and less transparent. To bring in former English FA president Sir Dave Richards as a consultant has hardly helped apparently. The Englishman, by the way, is soon to be appointed chairman of football club Leicester City, owned by the Thai King Power Group.

Originally the auction should have taken place after the Thai FA presidential election. However, one probably felt under pressure and accelerated the whole. "With the vote to find a new FAT president yet to be staged, we were afraid that further delay in the bidding process could cause damage for those involved." informed Siam Sport Managing Director Adisai Warinsirikul. Evil to him who evil thinks with a look at certain parties involved. Incumbent Thai FA president Worawi Makudi maintains, as everybody knows, a very close relation to Siam Sport - responsible for the leagues marketing. And Makudi holds the major share in the TPL Ltd. And he could be out of office after the upcoming election.

Another reason for the haste, so was to be heard on the press conference: next years season could start in January, and continue till October. Should it really happen in such a way, this would be a step in the right direction and be very welcome. It would straighten out the season. However, it would be counterproductive to increase the league at the same time to 20 associations. First rumours this could happen are making the round.

With its increasing popularity in the region and across Thailand's border, marketer Siam Sport aims to sell the leagues television rights in Asia. It would be the first time in the history of the league and a landmark at the same time.

Thailand and its premier football competition is apparently on the rise in terms of revenue and income. But compared to Japan or Australia, there are still miles to go. Australia's A-League just recently signed a new 4-year TV contract worth 100 million Euro. And the J-League, with no doubt Asia's most popular league across the globe, bagged in 37 million Euro in 2012.
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