SEPANG: Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) was today given the exclusive rights to telecast the FIFA World Cup 2010 competition to be held in South Africa from June 11 to July 12.

Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said with the exclusive rights, RTM would broadcast 35 matches, with 24 of them carried live and the other 11, delayed telecasts.

“RTM managed to get a free programme package offer of 26 hours and 10 minutes on RTM1 and RTM2. Almost all the live telecasts will begin at 11 p.m.,” he told reporters here today.

Rais earlier witnessed the signing of the agreement between RTM as the licensed broadcaster, which was represented by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Siaraf, and the exclusive rights holder of the terrestrial broadcast for the FIFA World Cup 2010, represented by Esprit Media Sdn Bhd managing director, Datuk Ahmad Zaharul Annuar.

Rais said it was estimated that over 18 million people in Malaysia would watch the live and delayed telecasts of the World Cup matches.

“This time RTM was lucky in the draw for the slots as its broadcasts would mostly involve top teams like Brazil, Portugal and England.”

Rais said viewers would also be able to watch some interesting programmes while waiting for the World Cup matches to begin.

RTM was the main broadcaster for the World Cup in 1974, 1978, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. The official theme for the broadcast this year is “Sorakan 1Malaysia 1Dunia.” — BERNAMA