RTM may air EPL football matches in 2020

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Footie fans, are you ready for this? After the success of airing the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (MCMM) is studying the feasibility of direct telecast of English Premier League (EPL) football matches on Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) in the future.

Two key things to note. It will not be this year, or next. And it’s going to be expensive.

MCMM minister Gobind Singh Deo said last week that the success of the 2018 World Cup telecast was described as a major achievement for the station. He also said that MCMM was committed to bring more sports programmes live for the purpose of raising the quality of the government station.

Public support to RTM had been encouraging thanks to the World Cup telecast, a broadcast player long considered to be “behind the times” and lacking in quality.

“This is a starting point to show how RTM is going to be a major player in the broadcasting industry,” he said in reference to the World Cup telecast.

As you know, RTM had broadcast 41 of 64 World Cup matches that ran from 14 June until 15 July. The free-to-air rights cost MYR30 million but was the cost was covered by sponsorship via Maxis and AirAsia. Malaysians were also able to watch for free on their mobile devices via the RTM Mobile app, in addition to casting to their TV sets via RTM’s MyKlik website.

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Previously, Malaysians and football fans could only catch World Cup matches through cable TV networks like Astro, official broadcaster for the World Cup (and EPL). Astro this year however, introduced a World Cup pass which was open to non-Astro subscribers, at a cost of MYR120.

Back to the EPL. The world’s most watched football league is currently only telecasted through paid cable TV – Astro. While rights to the World Cup is expensive, the EPL will impart even higher financial cost.

With that in mind, Gobind said that it would be impossible for RTM to air the EPL this year or the next, but hinted that it might be possible in two more years.

He reiterated that his ministry is also looking for other new shows for RTM to air, in efforts to refresh the national broadcaster.

Source: Bernama via Malay Mail

Header pic: Getty Images

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