FIFA has threatened to suspend broadcast rights for the 2022 Qatar World Cup matches in Thailand.
This comes after the governing body learned that two neighbouring countries could view the Thai transmissions, even though the broadcast rights for their countries have not been bought.
FIFA then alerted the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), which called an urgent meeting with the parties concerned, including the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and digital TV operators.
FIFA demanded that the country must meet the encryption standards required, otherwise it may ‘pull the plug’ entirely.
Furthermore, it has been reported that an SAT official said that they could not meet the standards due to unadvanced transmission technology employed by service providers, as well as customers’ set-top boxes which are said to not be compatible with the required technology.
However, a meeting saw the country agree to propose to the football governing body a change to the transmission code in the hopes of preventing foreign audiences gaining access to broadcasts in Thailand.
An SAT official also stated that Thai broadcaster True Corporation has decided to give up the rights to 16 of the 32 matches for redistribution amongst digital TV operators.
It was agreed that all of them will be allocated equal rights to air three matches each rather than two.
It was only announced last week that the television coverage of this year’s global competition would be carried by 17 free-to-air broadcasters in Thailand. This late deal was by the Sports Authority of Thailand.