Thai business tycoon Komol Jungrungreangkit has stepped in at the very last moment to seal a deal to acquire media rights in Thailand for Euro 2020 last weekend. After completing the deal, the businessman handed over the rights to the Thai government, which is broadcasting every live match free on state broadcaster NBT.
Komol owns a footwear company named Summit Footwear. He had reportedly paid $10 million for the broadcast rights of Euro 2020. This news was provided by a spokesperson from the Thai Prime Minister’s office. It was reported by The Bangkok Post that Komol acquired the rights as it was highly likely that the tournament would not be broadcasted in the country.
The newspaper also revealed that this deal would come with political benefits for the businessman since a tussle is going on within Thailand’s ruling party Palang Pracharath Party involving Komol’s family and allies.
Prime Minister’s Office Minister Anucha Nakasai and one of Komol’s allies said: “We had only two days to negotiate. Initially, we held talks with several state agencies and private companies who were interested in supporting the broadcast but because we had so little time Mr. Komol stepped in, bought the rights, and gave them to NBT to show the matches. The prime minister wanted to see Thais happy by being able to watch the football.”
The deal reportedly received a green light at the very last minute, just before the opening fixture of the tournament. UEFA and its sales agent were also looking for buyers since last year that were willing to meet their asking prices.
Earlier, the rights for the previous edition of the tournament in 2016 were acquired by media and entertainment group GMM Grammy in 2013 in a deal that had a higher value than the current deal. The Grammy unit acquired the rights in 2016 and sold it to pay-television broadcaster CTH. CTH’s final collapse came during 2016 when the rights were sublicensed on to free-to-air broadcaster Channel 3.