Sunday, May 28, 2006

Maldives wins deal to show World Cup free-to-air

The Maldives information minister has announced that his Indian Ocean nation will watch all 64 matches of the FIFA World Cup live on Television Maldives, TVM, in June. The Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union assisted in winning the rights to telecast the 64 matches free-to-air. "ESPN has confirmed the terrestrial rights to air the finals will be given to TVM at a reasonable price. During next week ESPN and TVM will sign the agreement” said Minister Mohamed Nasheed.

Speaking at ABU’s administrative council meeting in April, Nasheed said that Maldivian authorities could be spending hundreds of thousands of US dollars to buy World Cup broadcasting rights if the negotiations were not successful. According to TVM boss Ali Khalid they will now be spending a third of the price proposed earlier under the new deal.

"In the Maldives football is very dear to our hearts. Our interest in football has made it almost the national game that arouses the widest and the strongest excitement in our souls. When it is football time the life of the whole nation gets adjusted to the game and its timings. Football is so intertwined in our life," he said as quoted by Haama Daily.

See also: Maldives asks for World Cup TV at "bearable cost" (28 Apr)

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