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Vietnam PayTV firms face a Facebook football threat

By Nguyen Ha   September 16, 2018 | 06:38 pm PT
Vietnam PayTV firms face a Facebook football threat
VNPayTV said authorities should not allow Facebook to broadcast the EPL in Vietnam. Photo by Reuters
The government should not allow Facebook to stream English Premier League matches, an alarmed Vietnam Pay TV Association says.

In a letter to the Ministry of Information and Communications, VNPayTV said authorities should not allow the social media company to broadcast the EPL in Vietnam unless it complies with the Competition Law and requirements related to censorship, editing and Vietnamese translation.

Current regulations define any agency that broadcasts television programs as a press agency. VNPayTV said Facebook must also comply with the Press Law and provide Vietnamese commentary for the matches.

As of now, Facebook, which has over 60 million users in Vietnam, would violate the Competition Law by having a monopoly over the broadcast of matches on the internet in the country, it said.

The global media reported last July that Facebook had acquired rights to stream the EPL in multiple Asian countries for 200 million pounds ($262 million).

The deal would reportedly allow its users in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia to watch all matches online from the 2019-2020 season until 2022-2023.

But it is unclear if they have to pay to watch the matches or it is free.

VNPayTV's letter also calls on the ministry not to license foreign over-the-top (OTT) media services like Netflix and Amazon Video for the time being.

It said the ministry should crack down on Competition Law violations by OTT media services and pay TV firms and consider blocking services by foreign providers that are monopolistic.

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