Expensive World Cup broadcast rights, viewers may have to pay to watch live matches: Shabery

PUTRAJAYA: The days of watching World Cup football on terrestrial TV for free could be numbered.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said Malaysians must brace for the possibility of paying for watching live telecasts on TV, especially the World Cup in the future.

Ahmad Shabery said it was very expensive to secure broadcast rights for the World Cup.

“Many countries have started charging for watching live international matches but in Malaysia we are still able to watch it for free,” he told reporters here today.

He said in Singapore those who wished to watch the World Cup need to subscribe to cable TV stations.

Ahmad Shabery said this when asked to comment on viewers who expressed disappointment over RTM’s coverage of the 2014 World Cup.

Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) which was once again given exclusive terrestrial broadcasting rights to the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil from June 12-July 13, will air 35 of the 64 World Cup matches, of which 24 would be telecast live and 11 would be aired as delayed telecasts, on High Definition (HD).

Among the matches telecast live would be those involving countries or teams that are favourites among Malaysian fans, especially Brazil, England, Argentina, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, South Korea and Japan– BERNAMA

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