Football Association of Thailand ordered to pay Siam Sport US$14 million for breach of contract

17 August 2021

Football Association of Thailand ordered to pay Siam Sport US$14 million for breach of contract

The Court of Appeal for Specialized Cases in Thailand has ordered the association to pay the local subscription-based television broadcaster ฿450 million (US$14 million) in damages for unfairly terminating rights deal.

SportsPro reported that the association must pay the said amount plus interest within 30 days, while Siam was actually seeking US$42.7 million in damages.

The quarrel began when the broadcaster signed a contract with the association while it was under control of former president Worawi Makudi who oversaw the broadcast of the governing body’s competitions from 2013 to 2022. Yet, while the current president Somyot Poompunmuang took office in 2016, he terminated the deal while the broadcaster did nothing wrong.

The Intellectual Property and International Trade Court therefore ruled in 2019 that the association should pay the broadcaster ฿50 million (US$1.56 million) but the latter felt it had financially suffered more than that sum so it brought the case to the Court of Appeal for Specialized Cases and was awarded the new high damages eventually.

“How the broadcaster proved its financial loss was not made known to the public,” says Kowit Somwaiya, managing partner at LawPlus in Bangkok, who is not involved in this case but is experienced in similar ones. “My guess is that it could prove by showing to court the revenue it made under the license agreement in the past years before it was terminated, and using past revenue as the basis for projecting the future income which it expected to receive for the remaining term of the agreement had it not been ended. The awarded damages of ฿450 million are high compared with other copyright license lawsuits prior to 2021. However, higher damages awarded by court in lawsuits on the grounds of breach of contract not related to IP are common.”

When asked if an appeal is coming and whether the newly awarded damages are satisfactory, both involved parties decline to comment.


Johnny Chan

Law firms

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