In Thailand, apart from watching Muay Thai fights from stadium, press and media also play major role, in terms of broadcasting fights, which sometimes Muay Thai can see more in-depth detail than watching beside the ring, except only the real atmosphere in the stadium. Apart form that, media also provides review and criticism of Muay Thai performance and boxers.
Sergeant Sompong Wongsuthin or Ja Pong who is an ex-Muay Thai boxer who have now become the Muay Thai expert, respected by Many of Muay Thai gurus. Ja Pong’s ability on criticize and predict the result of Muay Thai fights accurately. In fact, Ja Pong is also one of Muay Thai media who offer Muay Thai information on the radio broadcast. He is also a Muay Thai commentator of Lumphini stadium and he is the writer of many Muay Thai magazines. From his experience described above, it is no doubt about Ja Pong’s expertise on Muay Thai.
“Muay Thai and Thai people is the sole of each other” Ja Pong explains to the magazine before continue his opinion. Today, every TV channels in Thailand have Muay Thai competition broadcast every week. Not only broadcast in Bangkok or metropolitan area, but also broadcast to upcountry and neighbour countries. Sometimes when I am talking on air at the radio station, there was a Muay Thai fan called me from Lao” Ja Pong told the magazine.
“Media are playing major role in Muay Thai professional competition today” Ja Pong added.
“But one thing we have to remember that TV is not the owner of the tournament. The owner of tournament is the promoter who proposes the right for broadcasting to TV, it is all about business. The cost of broadcasting Muay Thai competition is very expensive but there are also huge amount of number of audience. Some Muay Thai TV broadcast has almost few millions of audiences at a time. However, watching Muay Thai from TV still has disadvantage if compare to go watching at the stadium, especially watch Muay Thai from major stadium such as Lumphini and Ratchadamnern. This is because good fights and good fighters will never be broadcasted and will never appear on the TV and make people who watch from TV. So you can make sure that only people who come to stadium could get good quality fights and excitement.
“We may have seen that today, media has play major role on Muay Thai so they seem to be a good supporter of Muay Thai, but the fact is not like that”
Some type of media and press never give priority or support to Muay Thai. Especially, newspapers, which will be are read by millions of people everyday. Muay Thai news never have enough space to contain information give to audience. Only the results of competition will be provided to readers. There will never be headline about Muay Thai, unlike football which usually has a lot of details in newspaper. And this is one of the important the reason why Thai people do not appreciate about their own martial arts, but this is only for in major capital, Muay Thai still popular and important in upcountry. However, no matter how much media pay attention and gives support to Muay Thai, I still believe that Muay Thai will never die or lose popularity for Thai people, because Muay Thai has become part of our life”. Ja Pong added.