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Thailand’s junta to help people watch World Cup

An official of the broadcasting regulator said the junta asked him to arrange for all matches to be broadcast on free-to-air channels.

A Thai man watches a soccer match on a television at a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP) A Thai man watches a soccer match on a television at a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP)

Thailand’s military junta, which promised to “return happiness to the people” after last month’s coup, has asked regulatory officials to find a way to allow the country’s many soccer fans to watch the entire World Cup for free.

An official of the broadcasting regulator, Takorn Tanthasit, said the junta contacted the agency’s chairman on Wednesday and asked him to arrange for all matches to be broadcast on free-to-air channels to make the nation happy.

Earlier Wednesday, a court ruled that the company holding the broadcast rights could restrict more than half of the 64 matches to satellite TV. The rights holder, RS, said it planned to allow just 22 games to be broadcast for free.

A late-night curfew is likely to force many people to watch the games at home.

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