Thailand’s private sector and government promise free-to-air coverage of the Euro 2024 tournament. This move, driven by football’s growing popularity, aims to benefit bars, hostelries and boost tourism from mid-June to mid-July.

Thailand’s private sector and the government came together on Thursday to promise the public free-to-air coverage of the European Football Championships tournament in Germany, concluding on July 14th next. The issue was seen as critically important given the rising popularity of football in Thailand and its links to the foreign tourism trade. Thousands of bars and hostelries throughout Thailand are set to gain. 

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Thursday at Government House. He welcomed the news that the Euro 24 Finals will be available on Thai TV channels on a free-to-air basis. The move is seen as a boost to the country’s foreign tourism industry during June and July (Source: Government House and Reuters).

The Thai government this week announced that the Euro 24 Championships being held in Germany will be shown live in Thailand.

Indeed, the building excitement about the European event puts it on a similar level in Thailand to that of the World Cup. Certainly, the enthusiasm is greater than that for the Olympic Games. These are set to begin in Paris 12 days after the European Championship final in Germany is played.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin emphasised his love of football at a large press event held on Thursday at Government House. Thailand will be watching

On June 6th, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin convened a press conference at Government House underlining the importance of the occasion.

He said screening the Euro finals to Thai audiences was an important contributor to the happiness of the nation. Certainly, he admitted to being an avid football fan himself.

Certainly, eyes in Thailand will be watching the European Championship. These will include many foreign tourists from around the world in addition to Thai fans.

The growing popularity of soccer in Thailand mirrors a trend across Southeast Asia. At the same time, it can also be seen in the United States. The Fox Network has secured the rights to all 51 Euro 24 games for American audiences.

Government spokesman confirmed that Thai free-to-air channels would host all the matches from Germany on a rotation basis between NBT and Channel 9

On Thursday, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke confirmed that all the matches will be screened free on Thai TV channels. In addition, True Visions, the entertainment arm of True Corporation, has confirmed it has signed up the rights to the event for its platforms.

The matches will be screened in high definition on PPTV Channel 36. However, for everyday Thais, the matches will be rotated between state broadcaster NBT 2HD and Channel 9. The latter is owned by MCOT, a Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) listed media firm.

The rights to air the matches in Thailand were purchased from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) by Thai firm Aerosoft.

Mr Komol Jungrungruangkit is the Chairman of Summit Footwear Co., Ltd., or Aerosoft. On Thursday, he declined to reveal how much the company had paid for the rights. However, he assured reporters that it was significantly more than it paid previously.

Private sector sponsorship support and a deal with the rights holder means no government money has been paid to secure the concession for Thai audiences

Following this, deals were brokered between private sector sponsors such as PTT Plc, Bangkok Airways, and Thai Beverage Public Company Limited to bring the matches to the public free of charge.

At length, on Thursday, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin hailed this achievement.

‘Football is a popular sport among Thai people, and the Euro 2024 tournament is the biggest football event, second only to the World Cup. In addition to promoting sports and international sports competitions, the government believes that the over 60 million Thai people have the right to know about and watch world-class competitions, which is something that this government considers important,’ the PM told assembled guests.

The Euro 2024 event is being made available on mainstream TV channels. Additionally, it is seen as a boost to foreign tourism efforts.

Thailand’s bars and hostelries offer a unique stimulating environment where foreign tourists from Europe and across the world can cheer on their team.

This year, the Euro 2024 Finals in Germany appears like a mini World Cup with some of the World’s greatest teams and players taking part on a World stage

Indeed, this year, the participation of England in the event, along with Italy, France, the Netherlands, and of course, hosts Germany, makes it more akin to a mini World Cup.

Undoubtedly, it includes some of the world’s greatest players. In summary, they include Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, France’s Kylian Mbappe as well as England’s Harry Kane and Bukayo Sake.

For instance, the popularity of the English Premiership competition in Thailand and across Southeast Asia shows the unique appeal of football to worldwide audiences.

Its ability to blend with holiday tourism in Thailand shows its drawing power.

One foreign-themed pub in Nonthaburi was certain it would boost income in June and July.

This is echoed by operators across the kingdom, particularly in tourist hotspots such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.

Venues in the Southern province of Songkhla to attract many tourists coming over from Malaysia to enjoy the more festive atmosphere for the Euro 2024 finals

In addition, southern provinces and in particular Hat Yai in Songkhla are anticipating a particularly strong response.

The pubs and bars are expected to see an influx over the border from Malaysia. These will be football fans seeking to celebrate the World Cup free of religious restrictions.

The availability of the Euro 24 tournament in Thailand will benefit thousands of hostelries and business concerns from mid-June until mid-July.

Meanwhile, across Thailand, the excitement related to the event is building. This includes sales of bigger and more advanced flat-screen TVs in department stores.

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Similarly, just as with the World Cup, Thai travel agencies are busy. In short, they are catering for the wealthy few by organising outbound trips to Germany.

Packages for earlier matches, including an 8-day trip with 6 overnight stays, range from ฿200,000 to ฿250,000. 

Meanwhile, later stages, including the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final, have tickets ranging from ฿300,000 to ฿450,000. The price includes tickets for the final itself.

Euro 2024 kicks off in Thailand on June 15 at 2 am

The Euro 24 Championship kicks off with Scotland vs Germany on June 15th. That is June 14th in Germany. The match can be seen at 2 am Thai time.

Matches in Thailand will be available at 8 pm, 11 pm, and 2 am for the opening group stages.

In brief, there are 24 teams taking part in the competition with six groups of four. After the first round, this will be culled to 16 teams. At length, the top two teams in each group and the four teams that finished in the best third positions.

Thereafter, the playoffs commence until it comes to the final which will be played in Berlin on July 14th.

This year’s Euro 24 finals will be played at 10 German stadiums. These include the Olympia Stadion in Berlin and the Volkspark Stadion in Hamburg.

For Thailand, it will be a morale boost for the people and the foreign tourism industry. In effect, football certainly helps bring the world closer together.

Undoubtedly, that is always good news for Thailand.

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