When television stations in Vietnam have been united to bargain for a reasonable price of the telecast rights of the English Premier League (EPL), the K+ TV station has shown signs that it will keep way from the group.
Following the recommendation of the government, local TV stations have agreed not to compete with one another to up the prices of the EPL broadcast rights in Vietnam offered by MP & Silva – the authorized sports marketing firm entitled to distribute the exclusive TV rights in Asia-Pacific.
The leaders of most major TV stations have reached an agreement that they will buy the TV right packages only if they are at most 20 percent more expensive than the rate of the previous seasons.
TV stations in Vietnam spent US$38 million purchasing the telecast rights for 2013-2016, or $12.7 million per season.
It is estimated that the price for the package of three seasons from 2016 to 2019 will soar to $70 million.
Le Dinh Cuong, vice chairman of the Vietnamese pay-TV association, sent a report to the prime minister on Thursday, pledging its members will not agree to any increase of over 20 percent in the price of the broadcast rights.
Cuong added that the station members may buy the rights to air all EPL matches but they will definitely not purchase any exclusive rights.
The agreement was concluded on November 17 by 12 major TV stations in Vietnam, including VTVCab, SCTV, K+, VTC Digital, FPT Telecom, VNPT Media, Viettel Telecom, AVG, Hanoi Cable TV, VTV, Hanoi TV and Radio, and HTV.
However, a leader of a TV station told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on condition of anonymity that K+, a joint venture between Vietnam’s national broadcaster VTV and France’s Canal+, may break the promise and stand apart to buy the exclusive rights.
After the TV station leaders reached the agreement, the minutes of their meeting were prepared with 11 signatures.
Le Chi Cong, general director of K+, did not sign the minutes.
“MP & Silva will sell the TV rights of the EPL matches in different packages. Some of them will be exclusive while others will not,” the anonymous leader said.
The leader quoted the K+ executive as saying that the station will purchase the exclusive packages if its counterparts do not.
Later, a subordinate of Cong signed the minutes with a comment, “We acknowledge the spirit of the association.”
It is believed that K+ will ‘employ’ its old trick to stand apart from the pay-TV association by letting their parent agency, Canal+, buy the exclusive packages and transfer them to it.
The price of television rights to EPL matches in Vietnam has increased 28-fold within 14 years, from US$450,000 in 2002 to US$12.7 million in 2015.
To be exact, the cost was $900,000 for two seasons in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, or $450,000 each.
Then, the price rose to $2 million for a package of three seasons from 2004 to 2007, before it almost doubled to $3.972 million for a three-season package between 2007 and 2010.
For the 2010-2013 seasons, Vietnamese television stations then spent around $16-19 million for the rights to air the matches live.