The waiting and the nail biting is over. The breath need not be bated anymore.
Football lovers in Vietnam can now breathe normally as the country has finally secured the right to broadcast 64 games of the most anticipated sports event this summer, the 2018 Football World Cup.
The deal was struck in the closing hours of June 7.
As of June 2, Vietnam was the only country among 220 members of World Football Federation FIFA without a contract to broadcast the matches, according to FIFA.
The value of the deal has not been revealed, but it is said to be the same as for the 2014 World Cup, which was US$7 million, or even lower.
Fans and businesses hoping to cash in on the event were desperately looking for ways to see and show the matches, and some were worried that they would lose out on a rare bonanza that comes only once every four years.
Sources told VnExpress that Infront Sports & Media (ISM) had agreed with the deal proposed by VTV and that a big company in Vietnam gave the national broadcaster US$5 million to make it happen.
VTV general secretary Nguyen Ha Nam had said on June 6 that “we are the only TV station in Vietnam still negotiating with ISM for broadcasting license of 2018 World Cup but haven’t been conclude because the price is simply too high.
“We will try our best to broadcast the World Cup for Vietnamese people, but not at all costs. VTV will only purchase the license when the price is reasonable and suitable with our budget,” he’d added.
The price that ISM, a Switzerland-based sports marketing company, offered in the first place was US$15 million for a full package including all 64 matches of the tournament, double the money charged for the previous edition of the World Cup in 2014.
VTV refused to budge from their limit of US$10 million, as they anticipated spending between US$7-8 million.