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Thai football fans await court ruling on World Cup broadcast

Football fans in Thailand will know by Wednesday if they can watch all World Cup matches for free. The Thai Supreme Court will settle a dispute between the broadcasting regulator and RS, the company which has rights to air the global event.

BANGKOK: Football fans in Thailand will know by Wednesday if they can watch all World Cup matches for free.

The Thai Supreme Court will settle a dispute between the broadcasting regulator and RS, the company which has rights to air the global event.

Currently, only 22 out of 64 matches will be available to the public. The rest will only be available on cable TV, owned by RS and one other broadcaster.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) had taken the company to court in April, calling for a fairer deal for consumers.

However, they lost the case at the administrative courts, and are holding out for a verdict at the supreme court on Wednesday.

Supinya Kangnarong, the NBTC commissioner, said: "We want to ensure that every household in Thailand is still able to watch big sports like World Cup via free-to-air TV. The fact is that such content is not free anymore, so that's why it led to the court case."

The commission said they are looking at the possibility of the state bidding for broadcasting rights of major global sports events in the future to prevent a repeat of similar problems. 

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