Ho Chi Minh City Television willing to pay for World Cup telecast rights

The Ho Chi Minh City Television (HTV) is willing to collaborate with national broadcasterVietnam Television (VTV) to obtain telecast rights for this year’s FIFA World Cup.

An HTV source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper said that its general director, Duong Thanh Tung, would send a letter to VTV on Thursday regarding their possible cooperation in the purchase of the 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcasting rights.

According to an HTV official, such collaboration is not unprecedented as the two television networks joined hands to buy the telecast rights for Germany 2006.

As VTV had a larger audience, it was in charge of paying two-thirds of the US$2 million asking price, while the Ho Chi Minh City-based broadcaster took care of the rest in that 2006 deal.

However, the national television station did not cooperate with HTV in the following FIFA World Cup editions.

As for the telecast rights for Russia 2018, the HTV official said that VTV can also cooperate with other cable television networks in the country, namely VTVCab, K+, SCTV, and FPT.

“We cannot let football lovers in Vietnam miss such a big party as the FIFA World Cup,” he stated.

As the world’s biggest football competition is only a week away, it would be difficult for broadcasters to sign advertising deals with local businesses as the latter need time to balance their budgets and set up advertising plans.

“However, HTV is willing to suffer some losses for the greater cause, which is serving our viewers and building up trust and reputation,” the official remarked.

In its 21st edition this year, the FIFA World Cup will be competed from June 14 to July 15 in Russia.

Switzerland-based Infront Sports & Media, distributor of this year’s FIFA World Cup telecast rights, previously offered all 64 matches of the championship at $15 million to Vietnamese broadcasters.

However, VTV said it would only pay $8 million at most for the rights, thus the negotiation has yet to conclude so far. The national broadcaster is the only station allowed by the government to bid for the telecast rights.

Nguyen Ha Nam, a senior VTV official, asserted to Tuoi Tre on Thursday afternoon that no agreement between the state television and Infront has been reached yet.

Rumors were circulated earlier the same day that the national broadcaster had obtained the telecast rights for the FIFA World Cup.

“We are exerting our best efforts to negotiate with the telecast rights distributor and will made an official announcement when the talks are complete,” Nam stated.

The prices of the FIFA World Cup telecast rights for the Vietnamese market have spiked over the last decade, from $2 million in 2006 to $7 million for the last games in 2014 in Brazil.

According to a document published by FIFA on June 2, Vietnam is the only among more than 200 countries and territories in the world where no entity has acquired the telecast rights of Russia 2018.

By Duy Khang, Tuoi Tre News