PUTRAJAYA, June 12 — Low-cost carrier AirAsia is the gold sponsor for the month-long free broadcast of 41 matches in the 2018 World Cup by state channel Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), the government confirmed today.
Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo thanked platinum sponsor Maxis and gold sponsor AirAsia for making the RTM broadcasts possible.
“I was made to understand that AirAsia has prepared 54 flight tickets that can be won through quizzes during the match broadcast,” he said in a speech at his ministry here today.
Last week, Gobind had revealed that telecommunications company Maxis Bhd is the main sponsor for the RTM’s licenced broadcast — which cost RM30 million.
Today, Maxis handed over a mock cheque for the sponsorship value of RM18 million, while AirAsia’s mock cheque was for its RM12 million sponsorship contribution for the broadcasts.
Earlier in his speech, Gobind said that many sports fans had since early this year started asking if RTM will be broadcasting the World Cup 2018 matches.
“We cannot deny the importance of football in Malaysia. Football is the most popular sport, football events are always awaited by Malaysians.
“The importance of sports as an agent of unity cannot be denied,” he said, later adding that the screening of football matches would create an opportunity for “family bonding” and fostering of friendship.
The World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15, where 32 countries will vie for the trophy.
RTM has allocated 400 hours to broadcast 41 out of the 64 matches through its channels TV1 and TV2, with 28 games to be shown live and another 13 games, on a delayed transmission.
There will be 21 matches shown live via TV1 including the semi-finals and final, while there will be seven matches including the opening game screened live on TV2.
Ten matches will be shown on delayed screening via TV1, with the remaining three delayed matches will be aired on TV2.
The broadcasts will be on matches involving the countries that Malaysians are fans of, including Germany, Brazil, England, Argentina, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, South Korea and Japan.
There will be 83 repeat screenings over TV1 and TV2.
Match previews will be available on TV2, while match highlights will be shown on TV1.
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.