PUTRAJAYA: About half of the cost of sponsoring World Cup 2018 matches to be shown live on Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) have been recouped through sponsorship.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the cost of sponsorship was now estimated to be RM30 million.
He said the RM40 million figure announced earlier was the ceiling price imposed by the government to allow for the football extravaganza on RTM.
“RM15 million has already been recouped through sponsorship. The details will be made available soon.
“We hope to recoup most of the cost before the event in two weeks as we are working hard to get more sponsors.
“I have a list of more sponsors but I will let you know later.
“I will make the sponsors available as we’ve committed ourselves to being transparent,” he said during a press conference at the finance ministry.
Gobind said RTM was now preparing for the live telecast and there was a lot of work to do in the next two weeks.
“This will become a platform for RTM to show the event live and a challenge for us to become a television station that is watched by all Malaysians once again.
“The decision by the prime minister to show this event was based on the fact that it was a global event and is held once in four years.”
Gobind said there were requests for other events to be shown live as well on RTM.
“I doubt we will do that now as we’ve said many times that we are going to cut down on expenses.”
Gobind also said they were considering contributing any excess money made from the World Cup live telecast to the Tabung Harapan Malaysia fund set up to pay off the country’s debts.
“We haven’t decided on this as I will have to discuss this with the Cabinet, but, yes, there is emphasis on that fund. We will decide later.”
Gobind said a total of 41 matches would be aired, of which 27 would be shown live.
The decision to telecast the World Cup matches live was announced at the post-Cabinet meeting earlier, fulfilling Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto to carry a live broadcast of the matches for free.
Gobind had previously said that airing the World Cup matches live was one of the ways for RTM to win back viewers.
The World Cup this year is hosted by Russia and will take place at 12 venues. It kicks off on June 14.