The official announcement, which was based on the draft conclusion of the ministry’s inspectors on February 10, has ended the fierce disputes over the football Television (TV) rights between the three relevant insiders VFF, AVG and the Vietnam Professional Football (VPF) Company, which has become a focus of the local media in recent days.
As inspected, the VFF is the legal owner of the broadcasting rights for the national football tournaments and is fully authorised to transfer those rights to any partner it chooses. The Federation also followed necessary procedures under Vietnamese law during the signing process of the 20-year contract on telecast rights with the AVG in December 2010, the Ministry of Justice said.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communication, the 2011-2030 TV rights deal between VFF and AVG, which was declared unusually long by the VPF, is quite lawful and does not depend on the television operating licence, because there is no limitation on the duration of a contract stipulated in the existing Civil Law and Commercial Law of Vietnam.
Vu Xuan Thanh, chief inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said at the time of investigation, the VFF still had not transferred the TV rights of the national football tournaments to the VPF yet. As a result, the VPF did not have the full authority on the telecast rights of the 2012 professional football leagues.
Also at the meeting yesterday, the inspectorate team proposed that the VPF, football clubs as well as television stations must seriously abide by the terms stipulated in the contract between the VFF and AVG.
The dispute over the broadcasting right of professional football tournaments was started by the VPF when the 2012 football season began nearly two months ago, focusing on the VPF’s proposal to clarify the legal base of the TV rights contract between the VFF and the AVG, which awarded the AVG the exclusive telecast rights for 20 years, beginning with the 2011 season.
Specifically, the VPF argued that the contract violates Vietnam’s law, because VFF had not asked for permission from clubs, which are also owners of broadcasting rights, before making the contract. Moreover, the AVG had not been licensed to join the TV market in Vietnam before it signed the contract.