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Thailand’s junta tries to win favor by ordering free World Cup for all

Jun 12, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

Thailand World Cup Happiness? WCup AP

A Thailand junta’s latest move to win favor over its people is to eliminate pay-per-view World Cup matches in the nation.

Since taking over, the junta has done plenty to displease, including a curfew much of the country in addition to arresting a popular anti-coup protest leader.

So, they’re on a “happiness campaign” in order to curry favor with the general public, and part of that is ensuring no one has to pay to watch the world’s biggest tournament.

From the BBC:

In an attempt to subdue opposition to the coup, the military has been running a charm offensive alongside its repression.

The BBC’s Jonathan Head in Bangkok says ensuring the World Cup can be watched by everyone is central to this so-called happiness campaign.

The RS broadcaster had already bought the rights to the matches and planned to allow only a third to be shown on free-to-air channels.

To see all of them viewers would have to buy a decoder, at a cost beyond many poorer Thais.

So the military has ordered the national broadcasting regulator to negotiate a deal for all the matches to be shown at no cost.

RS is reportedly claiming $21.5m (£13m) in compensation.

Maybe sports really are the new “opiate of the masses”.

  1. mvktr2 - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Thai junta, u.s. federal authorities, or local authoritarians … all the same, paying off in petty ways those whom they step on and steal from while promising that which they can’t deliver. Google democide to find out what a fraud government is:
    Percentile causes of violent deaths in the 20th century
    93% government action
    7% individual upon individual violence

    Sorry but if you’re going to post political crap I’m going to take part! ;)

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