Dispute over broadcast rights to Super League football

Disputes about TV broadcast rights have erupted after the Vietnam Professional Football JSC (VPF) allowed Vietnam Television (VTV) to broadcast live all matches of the national football tournaments (Super League 1 & 2).

Under a dispatch to VTV signed on December 29, VPF confirmed that it is entitled to control and use the brand name of all professional football tournaments, including the national football tournament (Super League 1), the First Division football tournament (Super League 2), the national Football Cup and the Super Cup match.

The dispatch says VPF has allowed VTV and its affiliates to broadcast live and re-broadcast all matches of the above-mentioned tournaments to the wider communities of football lovers as of the 2012 football season.

The company has also asked VTV to support the Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) and other local TV stations in broadcasting these matches if required.

VPF’s decision shows its strong determination to popularize football through media agencies, especially VTV and VTC - the two stations which have occupied the highest numbers of football fans.

With the new move, VPF seems to be ready for a legal war with the Audio Visual Global (AVG) which is holding the copyright on all these tournaments.

However, an AVG representative said on December 29 that the VPF decision seriously violated Vietnamese law and international copyright conventions.

We will lodge a protest to relevant State agencies to protect our legitimate rights, said AVG representative Hoang Xuan Bac.

AVG has signed a 20-year long contract with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) to broadcast live all matches.  It has laid down conditions if TV stations want to broadcast live these tournaments.

The 2012 football season will kick off in two days.