The possibility of Vietnam’s rights to broadcast 2018 FIFA World Cup matches being revoked could be put on the table if problems related to copyright infringement remain unsolved, Vietnam Television (VTV) has warned.
VTV, the broadcast rights holder in Vietnam for all 64 matches of Russia 2018, has called on the government to help tackle the widespread illegal streaming of its programs out of fear that FIFA will revoke its exclusive in-country license and local fans will be unable to watch the world’s biggest football competition.
The call for help was made via an official dispatch sent to the Ministry of Information and Communications.
In response, the ministry on Tuesday ordered the Department of Radio, Television, and Electronic Information and the Authority of Information Security to support VTV in scanning for platforms which offer illegal streams of the World Cup and punishing those who infringe on the broadcaster’s copyrights.
YouTube has also suggested that VTV submit an official request for intervention.
With the event’s matches being illegally streamed on different Internet platforms based in Vietnam, football lovers in the country face a high risk that VTV will be forced to cease its live broadcast of the games.
VTV currently allows some local partners, such as HTV and Viettel TV, to share its telecast rights on their own platforms.
But in just three days since the World Cup opening on June 14, the state-run television broadcaster has detected more than 700 cases of illegal Internet streaming. The national broadcaster has already handled 300 of them, mostly on YouTube and Facebook.
Despite VTV’s intervention, there are still several websites, including mybongda.com, vaobong88.com, xembong.com, and tructuyenbongda, pirating the Cup broadcast by live-streaming the matches on their platforms as of Tuesday.
Vietnam learned a lesson in 2017 when Vietnam Cable Television, or VTVcab, was stripped of its live broadcast rights for the UEFA Champions League, due to continued copyright infringement from local websites and TV stations.