PUTRAJAYA, May 31 — The federal government need only pay RM30 million to broadcast the 2018 Fifa World Cup for free on state broadcaster RTM, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said that while Putrajaya allocated RM40 million for the purpose, it later learned that the broadcast fees were lower than that.
Lim added that the total cost may be even lower still once sponsorships and advertising are included.
“The government allocated RM40 million for the ‘live’ broadcast; however, the actual cost would be RM30 million.
“Part of this will be sponsored through advertisement revenue,” Lim said.
RTM will be airing 41 out of the 64 World Cup football matches.
In a separate press conference later to elaborate on the cost, Gobind said that he has already secured RM15 million in sponsorship deals, which will help reduce the government’s cost.
He said that a company by the name of Sports Media & Distributor had given him a quotation for RM30 million, as the cost for airing 41 2018 Fifa World Cup matches.
When asked if the company was linked to either Astro or Fifa, Gobind said he was not aware of such ties and would check further.
“What I also want to state here is that when the Cabinet made the decision, the prime minister said that this was an international event and it is only four years once.
“So, bearing that in mind, a decision was made, despite the short time period, because as it stands we have collected RM15 million. We are working on the rest of it,” Gobind said.
He added that a press conference will be held soon to update the public on the status of the sponsorships.
Yesterday, Gobind said the Cabinet has agreed to broadcast the 2018 Fifa World Cup ‘live’ via RTM.
He said the federal government will try to keep the fee low by securing the broadcasting rights through a directly negotiated tender.
Gobind said sponsorships and advertising are expected to help lower the cost, with the Finance Ministry scheduled to release a cost breakdown today.
In Malaysia, cable network Astro is currently the only network with broadcasting rights to show all World Cup matches ‘live’.
The media rights to show the World Cup in Malaysia have been held by M-League Marketing Sdn Bhd since 2002, which then licenses it to Astro.
The ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition had included the ‘live’ broadcasts of all major sports leagues around the world, including the English Premier League, as part of its manifesto for the 14th general election.
After coming into power, PH revealed that Malaysia has over RM1 trillion in liabilities.
PH has also announced various cost-cutting measures such as a 10 per cent pay cut for ministers, and the scrapping of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail project as well as the third line for the MRT.