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SBD Global/March 31, 2014/Media

Thai Broadcaster RS Promises Fans 'Black Screen' Incident Won't Return For World Cup

With the World Cup just two months away, it is unclear at this time whether Thailand fans will "need to pay to watch all matches," according to THE NATION. Though four years have passed, the "black screen" with an apology is still fresh in the minds of those who were trying to watch World Cup matches on satellite TV. RS, the World Cup broadcasting rights holders, "came up with a lame excuse that they have encrypted the signals to stop it from spilling over to neighbouring countries." RS promised that the "black screen" incident would not return to haunt Thai fans come June. Free-to-air TV channels will show only 22 matches "while the remainder of the fixtures could be watched through RS' World Cup set-top box due to be launched on Tuesday." RS's plan "has set them on a collision course with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission," which included FIFA World Cup as one of the seven sporting events along with the SEA Games, Asian Games, Asean ParaGames, Asian ParaGames, Paralympics and Olympic Games to be available on free TV.  NBTC is trying to enforce the rule to get rid of the "black screen" problem. However, RS is arguing that "the decision is unfair since the regulation came into effect after they had already secured the broadcasting rights of the month-long event to be held between June 12 and July 13" (THE NATION, 3/30).

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