The 2018 football World Cup will start in three weeks, but Vietnam has yet to officially announce to own broadcasting rights. Will Vietnamese people miss the event that comes around only once every four years?
According to thethaovanhoa.vn, information from Vietnam Television (VTV) on May 22 affirmed that the television owns the $8-million TV rights to broadcast the 2018 World Cup. However, one day later, on May 23, Nguyen Thanh Luong, deputy general director of VTV, completely denied this to zing.vn: “Information about Vietnam owning the TV rights for the World Cup is incorrect.”
Luong also said that the made up information has hugely affected the price of TV rights that is currently being negotiated between VTV and Infront Sports & Media AG.
“The negotiation is difficult because the price is higher than what VTV can afford,” Luong added.
Newswire thethaovanhoa.vn stated that the distributor of the World Cup’s TV rights, Infront Sports & Media AG, has asked for $10.3 million from the Vietnamese television company. This price is widely claimed to be too high and many televisions have been negotiating with the company to reach a reasonable price but failed.
Four years ago, Infront Sport & Media used to ask for $14 million for broadcasting rights of the 2014 World Cup, but VTV paid only $7 million after eight months of negotiation.
Buying the TV rights for major football leagues is difficult for Vietnamese televisions, not only due to the high price, but the high number of illegal parties distributing, recording, and broadcasting the matches.
In March, Vietnam’s K+ television announced to have bought the rights to broadcast three seasons of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League (2018-2021) at reasonable prices.
However, on March 7, while K+ was broadcasting UEFA’s first match, a website illegally live streamed its broadcast of the match. The issue was discovered and handled by local authorities.
Previously, VTVcab also faced similar troubles and had twice sent documents to the Ministry of Information and Communications to handle websites illegally broadcasting UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.