FIFA threatens to pull plug on Thai broadcasters over World Cup piracy

FIFA this morning warned Thai broadcasters licensed airing the World Cup that they must do more to stop their feeds from being pirated. 

The world football organization said the broadcasters would lose their lucrative rights to air the matches if their broadcasts were not encoded to higher standards after the signals were jacked and retransmitted in other countries including Indonesia and Laos.

Though Thai broadcast regulators found that domestic satellite and digital TV operators lacked the necessary tech to meet FIFA encryption standards, the broadcasters vowed to reencode their streams to prevent copyright infringement.

Thai broadcaster True Corp. had spent over THB1.4 billion (US$38 million) for exclusive rights to air 32 of the 64 matches during the World Cup, taking place in Qatar now through Dec. 18. That brought a fairness complaint filed by a consortium of broadcasters.

Just yesterday, the national sports authority told True to relinquish its exclusive broadcasting rights and allow 16 of those matches, including the final, to be aired by its competitors. True’s True4U digital channel initially held exclusive rights to 32 of the 64 matches.

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