Last update 11/11/2010 8:00:00 AM (GMT+7)

K+ must share broadcast right of English Premier League

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Information and Communications met companies related to the broadcast right of some elite European football events last week to find out a solution for this case. 

After the meeting, Deputy Minister Do Quy Dan announced that related sides agreed to add channels provided by K+ into other paid TV systems in Vietnam, including the Hanoi Cable Television (HCTV) and HCM City Cable Television (SCTV). Related sides will negotiate the charges reasonably but not violate regulations on copyright that K+ signed with its partner.

"We assigned Viet Nam Television (VTV) to hold discussions and negotiations with other TV stations regarding football broadcasts. The television stations should negotiate with bidders based on reasonable subscriber costs, which provide the best service to the masses," said Doan.

"K+ should share the English Premier League broadcast with other stations. Provisionally, K+ will provide other stations with payment subscriptions, which includes the English Premiership on Sundays, depending on negotiations," Doan added.

"The ministry told us to develop a solution with the other pay-to-view cable services. We’re a business, so we can’t lose money from a sale of the broadcasts," said general director of K+, Cao Van Liet.

"We’ve negotiated with them (SCTV, HCTV), but we have yet come to an agreement with bidders. However, I can say that subscribers of other television stations will be able to watch all the Premiership matches on cable if the other cable TV stations agree with us on fees," Liet confirmed.

According to Vu Quang Huy, deputy director of VTC Digital Television, K+ will not allowed to exclusive broadcast matches on Sunday of the English Premier League (EPL). Negotiation between other broadcasters and VSTV, the holder of broadcast right of the EPL will be held as soon as possible.

Huy said they had been offered the English Premiership coverage from foreign partners, but had not been able to agree due to their price.

"I think, we should consider how to balance business and consumer benefits. I agree about the establishment of a subscription TV station association, who will resolve disputes and costs related to such agreements," Huy said.

"It’s time that TV stations joined in the healthy competition for pay-to-view TV services, which will help improve the quality of TV programmes."

About the long-term solution for television broadcast right in Vietnam, Deputy Minister Doan said the MoIC had just submitted to the government the draft regulations on paid TV business in Vietnam. This will be the legal foundation to control activities related to paid TV services in Vietnam.

The Ministry also agreed in principle the establishment of the Vietnam Paid Television Association. Before this association is set up, the ministry said that TV service providers should choose a representative to negotiate with foreign partners to avoid competition among them. It suggested VTV, as the national TV station, to assume this role.

Until now, it has been the race between VTV and then VCTV (Vietnam Cable Television) and VTC Digital Television, the two largest paid TV service providers in Vietnam. In mid-June, K+, a new televisions service of VSTV, a joint venture between VTV and Canal Plus, announced to be the exclusive holder of broadcast right of EPL and some European football events in Vietnam the next season.

K+ won a $10 million contract for a three-year exclusive right to broadcast the world’s most popular football leagues. If K+ holds the exclusive right, Vietnamese audience, though having paid for other paid TV services, will have to pay more (1.5 million dong for signal receiver and monthly subscription fee of 250,000 dong) to K+ to enjoy these matches.

Under the social pressure, K+ allowed two channels of VTV – VCTV3 and TV Football – to broadcast EPL’s matches on Saturday and Monday.

The negotiations between K+ and its bidders continue, while the world’s top football championships kick off this August.