HK legislator urges leader to buy World Cup rights

Published Jul. 13, 2010 7:31 a.m. ET

A Hong Kong legislator has urged leader Donald Tsang to buy TV rights for the next World Cup, after the football-crazy former British colony missed out on free coverage this year.

The Hong Kong rights holder was subscription-based Cable TV. The broadcaster agreed to license footage of key matches to the digital channels of Hong Kong's two free-to-air TV stations, but the deal still left out poorer neighborhoods without digital coverage.

In Tsang's question-and-answer session in the Hong Kong legislature on Tuesday, lawmaker Wong Yung-kan asked him to consider using taxpayer dollars to buy World Cup TV rights, saying many locals were ''deprived of the right to watch the World Cup.''

Tsang said he would consider ways to guarantee free coverage of key matches, but didn't make any promises.