TV5 Gains Rights for World Cup Coverage

TV5 has bought the rights to broadcast upcoming World Cup games from a Thai corporation, which authorities hope will be a boon to Cambodian football and television.

Under the agreement, an­nounced at a news conference in Phnom Penh Tuesday, TV5 has the rights to broadcast 56 matches live and to rebroadcast from tape delay eight other matches, officials said.

The television station bought national broadcasting rights from ML Business Co, Ltd, a Bangkok-based firm, with the help of Cambodian Samart, TV5 Deputy Director General Chen Marido said. Officials refused to discuss the terms of the buyout.

More Cambodian football fans will be able to stick with local programming as a result of the deal, Chen Marido said.

“Football is popular and developing in Cambodia. I hope the majority of the adults will watch the world football matches live on TV5,” Chen Marido said.

The World Cup, football’s biggest tournament, is held every four years. Nations compete for months to qualify for the finals and it has a worldwide draw. This year’s tournament is being played in both Japan and South Korea. The World Cup is scheduled to open May 31 and will conclude June 30.

TV5 will have an advantage in getting big ratings at home because Cambodia is only a few hours behind the host countries, Chen Marido said. Matches will just be getting under way in the evening here, which means fans can watch the tournament live in “prime time,” Chen Marido said.

Cambodia will not be on the broadcast this year.

Cambodian footballers finished at the bottom of their division in qualifying playoffs last year, with a 0-5-1 record. Nevertheless, they showed flashes in a tie with Maldives and their tight defense in two matches against China.

Both Tiger Beer and Total gas stations have stepped up to help sponsor the broadcasts to this year’s tournament, Chen Marido said.

Although government owned, the television station is run by MICA Media, a Bangkok-based firm which bought the managerial rights to TV5 for 30 years. It was originally run by the RCAF.


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