It seems Nepali football fans will have to pay extra to watch their favorite teams battling it out at the FIFA World Cup 2022. Media Hub, the entertainment company with exclusive rights to the popular sports tournament has placed Rs 500 in charges for the subscription.
The company has urged the viewers to contact their DTH provider or local TV operator to reserve their subscription for the live matches. Considered the world’s most popular sporting event, the Men’s FIFA Football World Cup 2022 will run for 28 days from November 20 to December 18.
Football World Cup comes every four years and Nepali fans wait with the same fervor and anticipation as the rest of the world. But the idea of having to pay to watch the matches could subdue the joy for many.
Probably, it’s the first time that Nepali viewers are going to pay to watch the FIFA Football World Cup matches.
Why is Media Hub charging viewers Rs 500 to watch the World Cup?
Media Hub bought the broadcasting rights from Indian company Viacom and the former has cited a costly agreement for imposing the Rs 500 charge on the viewers’ end.
The company says the move is obligatory. Som Prasad Dhital, Chairman of Media Hub claims that buying the broadcasting rights and promoting the tournament will cost 40 – 41 crores. The company predicted that the investment wouldn’t break even with the mere revenues from ads so it concluded on fixing the cost for the viewers.
“The World Cup could not be commercialized only through the advertising model. We came to the decision to take some money even if the audience did not want it,” Dhital said.
“Now viewers have to pay Rs 500 for a set-up box to watch the World Cup,” he added.
Media Hub estimates over 2 million set-top-boxes in operation in Nepal and projects around 1.2 million to watch the World Cup live. The company expects to draw in at least Rs 50 million from a possible 1 million subscription. Besides, it will rake in more from ads, and broadcasting rights given to other television channels.
Media Hub has earned exclusive rights for the world cup matches. It means unlike in the past, foreign TV channels airing the same content won’t be available in Nepal.
So far, Himalaya TV is the only TV channel announced to air FIFA World Cup matches live. We also reached out to Dish Home and it said Action Sports could broadcast the contest. We will keep you updated with upcoming developments regarding the payment and TV channels in this regard.