Seventeen free television channels will broadcast live World Cup 2022 matches in rotation, with True4U 24 carrying the opening match between the host country Qatar and Ecuador on Sunday at 11pm Thailand time.
The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) made the announcement on Saturday after meeting with broadcasters, to the relief of millions of local football fans.
It followed a last-minute agreement on Thursday between Fifa and the state agency, which had scrambled to raise the funds to pay the US$33 million (1.2 billion baht) for broadcast rights for all 64 matches.
Saturday’s meeting used a lot drawing to choose which channels would broadcast which matches. The final schedule is still being drawn up but is expected to be released shortly.
The 17 participating channels are True4U 24, TSports 7, Channel 3, Channel 5, Channel 7, Channel 8, MCOT Channel 9, NBT, Thai PBS, Thairath TV, Amarin TV, Mono 29, PPTV 36, GMM 25, Nation TV, ONE 31 and JKN 18.
True4U 24 is owned by the mobile, pay-TV and internet conglomerate True Corporation, one of the companies that provided financial support for the broadcasting rights.
This year’s tournament in Qatar features 32 teams, up from 24 in earlier finals, split into eight groups of four. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the last-16 knockout stage.
The round of 16 will be played from Dec 3 to 6. The quarter-finals will be staged on Dec 9 and 10. The semi-finals are scheduled for Dec 13 and 14, followed by the third-place playoff on Dec 17 and the final on Dec 18.