Tuesday, July 3, 2018

World Cup litigation in Thailand kicks off again

Image result for fifa world cup images 2018

Every FIFA World Cup disputes erupt in Thailand over broadcast rights. See here for the 2014 dispute.

Now in 2018 Bangkok’s Central Intellectual Property and International Trade court has had to weigh in on it. TrueVisions had again licensed certain broadcasting rights from FIFA.  There are several free to air channels (as in most countries), which in Thailand include Army''s Channel 5, True4U Channel 24, and Amarin TV Channel 34. Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s (NBTC) has ‘must carry’ rules which require free to air World Cup content (since many years ago, it was pay only, to the anger of Thai football fans). 

For the Russia 2018 World Cup TrueVision showed matches in higher quality 4K ultra high definition, apparently the first in the region. Its Channel 400 gives high speed 50Hz refresh rate coverage for Gold and Platinum subscribers. TrueVisions claim it is 20 times clearer than existing standard systems. 

Meanwhile telecoms operator, Advanced Info Services’ (AIS) companies have been showing matches through their App based content channels for AIS phone subscribers in Thailand.  They had been rebroadcasting World Soccer Cup 2018 programs from free TV stations including TV channel 5 HD , True 4U channel, and Amarin TV Channel 34 via the  AIS PLAY and AIS PLAYBOX Apps. 

TrueVisions sued AIS subsidiaries Mimo Tech and Super Broadband Network in the IP/IT court for infringement of its broadcast rights. Although AIS is rebroadcasting games which are available free to air, TrueVisions argued that it too as licensee or the broadcast owner FIFA AIS had to provide consent for AIS to stream the games. The IPIT court agreed that mobile streaming of the football games breached TrueVisions’ rights for the tournament. The court ordered the two AIS companies to stop broadcasting the matches on 28th June.


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