KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Keluarga Malaysia (the Malaysian Family) will have the opportunity to watch Qatar 2022 World Cup matches for free as Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (K-KOMM) will be an official broadcaster for the world’s biggest sporting event.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said a total of 41 matches will be broadcast by RTM, 27 live matches including the final and 14 delayed broadcasts involving 130 hours of airtime overall.

“RTM will broadcast matches involving high-ranking countries that have many fans in Malaysia,” he told reporters after launching the “Menjelang Sepak Mula Piala Dunia 2022 Qatar” programme in conjunction with the appointment of RTM as an official broadcaster of the Qatar World Cup, here today.

The Qatar World Cup will be held from November 20 to December 18.

According to Annuar, the matches will be broadcast through three channels namely TV2, TV Okey, Sukan RTM as well as livestreaming via RTM Klik. He said RTM would bear a cost of RM32.5 million to enable Keluarga Malaysia to follow the world-class action for free this time.

“Therefore, I hope that private companies and government-linked companies (GLCs) can also share in covering the cost of broadcasting (the World Cup) together with RTM,” he said.

Annuar said that since 2002, that is for 20 years, RTM has never stopped bidding for broadcasting rights either for live or delayed matches to allow Malaysians to enjoy the tournament once every four years.

He said football is not just a sport but a big industry and has cross-racial and national fans.

The World Cup has a large enough worldwide audience to generate high income for the sponsorship and broadcasting industries, he said.

According to a statement distributed by K-KOMM, the agreement to purchase broadcast rights was offered by the company Sport Media & Distributors Sdn Bhd with the first broadcast on November 20 witnessing the match between Qatar and Ecuador.

At today’s programme, RTM also introduced six sports presenters who will be on duty during the live broadcasts, namely Syafiq Asyraf, Rasdi Jumaat, Zackhi Suri, Jeed Zulkefli, Aizuddin Shah and Mohd Nazri Shukri.

According to the statement, in addition to the sports presenters, RTM will also feature 12 guest presenters consisting of former players and national coaches who will provide commentary on the matches.

The Qatar World Cup with the slogan “Now Is All” will take place in eight official stadiums in Qatar involving 32 countries In the 2018 edition of the World Cup in Russia, RTM obtained the broadcasting rights for 41 of the 64 matches with 27 of them broadcast live, involving a total cost of around RM30 million. — Bernama