MCOT expects to seal a three-year sub-licence deal by next week to broadcast 17 live matches per season from the English Premier League on its Modernine TV channel, according to high-profile executives.
Thanachai Wongthongsri, executive vice president of MCOT and key figure in the negotiating team with EPL broadcasting rights-holder CTH, said yesterday that there were only some details to be finalised with the company, such as on the production of EPL highlight programmes.
“Everything is going well and on the right track, and we hope that by end of next week, the deal will be sealed,” he said.
MCOT president Anek Permvongseni yesterday held a meeting with colleagues and workers, including representatives from the company’s labour union, to clarify the reasoning behind the move.
A source at MCOT said after the two-hour meeting that most employees were concerned that the new investment could put the company at risk, following its continued weak financial performance in the first half of the year. According to MCOT’s labour union, from January to June, overall revenue at the state media enterprise was still below target.
The source added that at the meeting, employees said that if MCOT executives sealed the EPL deal with CTH, they wanted to select the best live matches, as they want to ensure the games will attract advertisers and improve audience ratings.
Moreover, the company must take into account the timing of key seasonal Modernine programmes such as “Academy Fantasia”, “The Star” and the “KPN” singing contest, as the shows create high returns for the TV station.
Selected live EPL matches should not, therefore, affect those series, the meeting was told.