Tien Minh named 8th seed at Yonex All England Open 2014


Top Vietnamese badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh has been seeded eighth in the men’s singles discipline at the 2014 Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships, scheduled to take place in Birmingham from March 4-9.

The All England Open is Tien Minh’s third official competition in 2014, following the Victor Korea Open 2014 from January 7-12 and the Maybank Malaysia Open 2014 between January 14-19.

As seeded, Minh gets a wild card to the main round along with 31 other contestants, most of whom are standing in the world’s top 30 rankings.

The likelihood Minh will advance further into the tournament is bright as he will just take on the winner of the qualifying round in the first stage, who may possibly be Malaysia’s Daren Liew, Hong Kong’s Wei Nan or the Republic of Korea’s Lee Dong Keun.

The six-day competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious open badminton tournaments in the world. This year’s event promises to be full of high speed action with all the best players in the world present.

Nearly 500 shuttlers from across the globe will be competing for total prize money of US$400,000 in the men’s and women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles categories.

Amateur cyclists get set for Binh Duong race

The Binh Duong Television Cycling Open-Becamex IDC Cup will kick off in the southern province of Binh Duong from tomorrow and run until December 20.

The tournament has attracted 200 amateur cyclists who will be divided into two age brackets: 16-35 and 36-55.

The event will take place every two months with a total prize pool of VND300 million (US$14,300).

Domestic football league loses footing on home-ground

While a number of Vietnamese television channels are willing to pay a high fees for the broadcast rights of several international football leagues, few pay attention to the V-League.

Last year, K+ Channel paid USD35 million for the rights to broadcast the English Premiere League for three seasons, from 2013-2016. Even though other paid subscription channels said they would boycott K+ and the Premiere League because of the high price, carriers still eventually bought the packages. As a result, fans had to pay a high price to watch the match.

The broadcast rights for World Cup 2014 in Vietnam, distributed by the MP&Silva Group, is going for USD10 million. Because this price is three times higher than the prices for World Cup 2010, VTV said they would not broadcast the event. However, many other channels are willing to pay. It remains unclear whether domestic broadcasters will be able to recoup their investment with advertisements, since they would need to earn over VND3 billion for each match.

On the other hand, the broadcast rights for the V-League, the top professional football league in Vietnam, are sold for under VND10 billion (USD477,000). Some football clubs have said they do not care about copyright issues because the money paid them is nominal. "It is even lower than a player's monthly wage," said a club representative.

When the Vietnamese Super Cup was held, the organisers went so far as to waive media right fees.

Vu Quang Huy, deputy head of VTC Digital Television said, "Both broadcasters and fans prefer foreign football leagues over domestic leagues. We need more investment into the domestic football scene to attract audiences. The V-League also needs some improvement to more aggressively promote their brand."

As usual, Vietnam Professional Football JSC (VPF) plans to exchange broadcast rights for advertising slots. The revenue they gain by selling those slots to sponsors can be used for organising expenses, prizes and supporting individual clubs. However, in this competitive environment, most channels are looking to limit the number of live matches, which could mean that VPF's revenue may fall under VND10 billion. This would mean football clubs may not receive any funds for travelling between matches.