KUALA LUMPUR: Football fans in Malaysia will get to watch 27 of the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 matches live on free-to-air television, announced Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo on Wednesday (May 30).
National broadcaster Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) will also provide delayed broadcasts of 14 more matches.
The ministry had said on Monday that it will present a proposal at the weekly Cabinet meeting to obtain the rights to broadcast the international tournament.
Gobind said more details and the costs involved would be explained by the finance ministry on Thursday, but the figure discussed at the Cabinet meeting earlier was "around RM40 million".
"Of course there will be sponsors and so forth to absorb a substantial part of it," he said.
Gobind added that he was not involved in finding the sponsors, but that the matter would be addressed as soon as possible.
"We have a ceiling of RM40 million (US$10 million), but the actual details ... will be revealed tomorrow. I expect it will be considerably less because when there is ceiling and when it is done via direct negotiation we will try to reduce it even further," he said at a press conference.
The FIFA World Cup tournament this year will take place from Jun 14 to Jul 15 in Russia.
OTHER MEDIA MATTERS
Gobind also addressed the proposal for the formation of a media council, saying that he hoped to bring the matter to the Cabinet in two weeks.
“We have stated that we want to establish a media council. We are in the process of setting up its structure. We have indicated the participation from all sectors and will propose to the Cabinet in two weeks,” he said.
The minister also said he was looking to moot policies that would take his ministry into the future and revamp several agencies.
"Certain agencies need to be restructured altogether. They need to be demolished and rebuilt because for far too long things have not changed and the structure that they operate on may not relevant or (may be too) outdated to compete with other agencies," he said.
Meanwhile, Gobind said he would also meet representatives of all major telco operators soon to discuss reducing the price of Internet services.
Gobind also said the government was looking to increase Internet speed as well as reduce costs but needed to take certain things into consideration.
“We have certain plans in mind. We are still working on it. I will meet with telcos next week or following week to discuss the way forward,” he said.