FIFA World Cup: Fans in Malaysia can catch most of the matches for free on RTM

The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Doha.
The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Doha. (PHOTO: Mustafa Abumunes/AFP via Getty Images)

FOOTBALL fans in Malaysia can watch the majority of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Finals matches for free, as Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) will continue to be the official broadcaster for the Qatar tournament.

New Straits Times reported on Sunday (14 August) that RTM, the free-to-air television network owned by Malaysia's Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, will be broadcasting 41 of the 64 World Cup matches – 27 live (including the final), 14 delayed – that will involve 130 hours of airtime.

The matches will be telecast on the RTM2, TV Okey and Sukan RTM channels, as well as on the RTMKlik app. Meanwhile, satellite TV provider Astro will continue to provide full coverage of the World Cup Finals through a subscription paywall.

The Qatar World Cup will be held from 20 November to 18 December.

“RTM will broadcast matches involving high-ranking football nations that have many fans in Malaysia,” said communications and multimedia minister Annuar Musa on Sunday.

He told New Straits Times that RTM would bear the cost of RM32.5 million to allow fans to watch the World Cup for free, but hopes that private companies and government-linked companies can also share in covering the cost with RTM.

According to Annuar, RTM has been bidding for broadcasting rights for the World Cup either for live or delayed matches since the 2002 edition.

During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, it obtained the broadcasting rights for 41 of the 64 matches, with 27 of them broadcast live, involving a total cost of around RM30 million.

New Straits Times reported that RTM introduced six sports presenters for the live broadcasts: Syafiq Asyraf, Rasdi Jumaat, Zackhi Suri, Jeed Zulkefli, Aizuddin Shah and Mohd Nazri Shukri.

RTM will also feature 12 guest presenters consisting of former players and national coaches who will provide commentary on the matches.

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