RTM still tackling pricey World Cup TV rights

Screen grab from http://singaporenewsalternative.blogspot.my/2014/06/snapshot-starhub-blocks-rtms-tv1-to.html

THE 2018 World Cup is about two months away.

It, however, remains unclear if RTM will air any of the matches live from Russia.

Those in the thick of negotiations revealed RTM was offered 42 matches, including the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, selected matches in the knockout stages and the final, for “a sum close to RM31 million”.

The matter has been brought up to RTM’s “top management” but no decision has been made as yet.
It is believed the top guns have not committed to the large sum due to the looming 14th general election.

“The team is waiting for the top management to give the green light. I must admit it’s not cheap,” said a source.

“It is some RM10 million more than what RTM paid for the last World Cup in Brazil.”

RTM screened 35 matches during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil - 24 live telecasts and 11 delayed telecasts on its TV1, TV2 and TVi stations.

The announcement was made on March 6, 2014 - three months before the tournament started, as seen in the video below:

RTM has been the main broadcaster (free-to-air) in the country for the biggest football competition in the world since the 1974 World Cup in West Germany - missing only the 1982 edition due to lack of funds.

However, on June 14, 1982, The Malay Mail reader Peter Teo, who went with the pseudonym 'Soccer Fanatic' suggested to the paper's now defunct Hotline team that football fans would not mind paying a ringgit each to help pay for the telecasts.

In just days, the idea took the nation by storm and the People's Live Telecast Fund was launched on June 19.

Following the generous donations from members of the public and several corporations, RTM was able to air the live telecasts of four World Cup matches and had extra funds to air the live telecast of the FIFA World All-Star charity match on Aug 7.  

According to the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia Media Rights Licensees list, only M-League Marketing Sdn Bhd and Astro are authorised to broadcast the matches in Malaysia. 

This year’s edition featuring 32 teams will be held from June 14 to July 15 in 11 cities – Moscow, St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Samara, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad and Sochi.

In January, it was reported Pakatan Harapan's Youth wing pledged to broadcast all international sporting matches including the English Premier League on RTM should the party win the general election.

In an immediate reaction, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said taxpayers' money could be put to better use.


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