Vietnam Tv Rights Saga

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Date Submitted: 08/03/2010 03:09 AM

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Vietnam EPL TV Rights Saga, Who Will Win?

Hanoi based joint venture VSTV is facing growing criticism over its new pay TV packages. Start from season 2010/2011 English Premier League football fans in Vietnam will have to pay for premium packages to watch the live matches in addition to a satellite set top box. EPL is the most popular sport program in South East Asia. For nearly last ten years ESPN Start Sports (ESS) aired live matches through its satellite channels ESPN and Start Sports exclusively in Southeast Asia, India and some Asian territories. In Vietnam VTV and its competitor VTC had rebroadcasted the programs from ESS feeds with reasonable rights fees and other sponsorship terms. Local broadcaster can air the programs on free to air channels with sponsorship and TV advertising covered the cost.

In 2009 the Italian MP & Silva had made a coup with all TV rights of EPL in Asia and many territories after out bidding ESS and other tenders for exclusive transmission rights even with new media rights. Since the rights fees skyrocketed MP & Silva tried to cover the cost and pretty good margin in the region. Free to air broadcasters could not find out the sponsors and advertisers to cover the cost. New player K plus, a joint venture of French Canal Plus and VTV pay TV arm VCTV, entered the game with premium packages for its direct to home (DTH) service. Vietnamese football fans are getting socked with the press release from K Plus. In fact fans in Hong Kong and Singapore are familiar with premium sport programming for last ten years. In Thailand and Malaysia, Indonesia DTH operators charge premium for high cost programs also. Since Vietnam is infamous for its content and software piracy, K Plus action could raise strong criticism from local fans and media. The infamous VTC joined the game also with some live matches on its HD platform. Both could face technical problems since rain can interfere the transmission signal in the rainy season.

If K Plus can...