Gobind: RM30m only for broadcast rights

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PUTRAJAYA ― The RM30 million bill that has been fully sponsored is only to obtain the licence broadcasting rights for Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) to screen World Cup 2018 matches, with the additional incidental costs to be also paid by sponsors, the minister of communications and multimedia disclosed.

“The RM30 million, that is the figure which reflects the amount of purchase of the rights to air.

“Of course, there will be other costs but those will not be substantial. As we go along, there will be other side functions that will arise, we are also thinking of perhaps organising an event for the finals,” Gobind Singh Deo said at the ministry yesterday.

Gobind said he has asked RTM to provide a list of the total related costs which will include events to “promote and to advance calls for all Malaysians to watch the live telecast on RTM”, but said such additional costs are not a lot and can be covered by sponsorship.

“The sponsors will cover it, there’s no problem, I’m not concerned, I’m not worried. The amount we have is enough to cover all costs.

“As I said, there are other people who are currently in negotiations with us, but because the contracts have not been signed, so I am reluctant to mention who they are,” he said, adding that the names will not be disclosed until the deals are finalised and signed.

“Those interested to also provide sponsorship however will not be funding amounts as ‘substantial’ as Maxis and AirAsia.”

Present at the broadcast sponsorship announcement were Maxis chief executive officer Robert Nason, RTM’s deputy director broadcast (strategic) Muis Shafie and AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat.

The World Cup 2018 will be held in Russia from tomorrow to July 15, where 32 countries will vie for the trophy.

As for whether there might be additional matches that RTM will air if more sponsors step forward, Gobind indicated that this would be subject to further negotiations.

Gobind said those who wish to provide sponsorship should go directly to RTM which has a department that deals specifically with such negotiations, instead of to his ministry.

On a lighter note, the minister said he would be supporting Brazil in the 2018 World Cup.

He also revealed that he is a supporter of English football club Liverpool and a long-time fan of Brazil for the tournament that is held once every four years.

Gobind acknowledged that Brazil was “quite shattered” in the last round, but also noted the team this time is “completely new”.

In the last edition of the World Cup in 2014, hosts Brazil was defeated 1-7 by eventual champion Germany in the semifinals and took fourth place.