A Burmese broadcaster has bought the rights to televise the English Premier League football games, becoming the latest business to profit from the easing of trade sanctions against Burma.
SkyNet, the biggest pay TV company in Burma, has bought the three-year rights deal for around $US40 million.
Burma affairs analyst Professor Sean Turnell from Macquarie University says the deal makes good economic sense in a country that boasts millions of Premier League fans.
"You can go to the remotest corner of the country, the most isolated village and wherever there is electricity you are likely to see a tea shop, or a drinking establishment or a restaurant with a TV playing a match," he said.
But the campaign co-ordinator at Burma Campaign Australia, Zetty Brake, says Burma has its priorities all wrong.
"For million dollars to be invested in televising football to a country that doesn't have continuous electricity supply, it doesn't have water, it doesn't have basic education and healthcare.
It definitely is something that is not necessarily a priority for the people of Burma, whilst I'm sure it is very entertaining and enjoyable." Professor Turnell agrees there is a sharp financial disparity between the amount paid for the rights and the income of the people watching the games.
"The majority of people who would be watching the matches would be extremely poor," he said.
"And they would watch the match at some sort of public place, it wouldn't be at home.
The average person in Burma really cannot afford a television set and in any case, even if they could, the national electricity supply is so poor they really wouldn't be able to power it up in any case." Burma Campaign Australia's Zetty Brake argues the entertainment factor distracts from the real issues taking place in Burma.
"We need to be realistic about what is going on in Burma.
You still have mass conflict which is leading people to be displaced from their home," she said.
"You still have forced labour and people in Kachin state being used as human shields by the army.
The army is continuing to attack civilians; rape and other sexual violence are widespread across the country and these things are occurring with impunity." 'Emblematic of change' The founding editor of Irrawaddy magazine, Aung Zaw, says SkyNet's decision to promote sports over hard news is typical of the broadcaster.
"If you look at the content of all Skynet, this violence in Rakhine state, Kachin state, all these areas are very lightly covered.
They are totally ignored.
But sports and entertainment news are heavily promoted," he said.
Mr Aung Zaw says those at the top stand to gain the most from the deal.
"The media companies are owned by oligarchies and military people and those who are associated with the military, so I think they are the ones who are going to benefit from all the profits." Professor Turnell says the sports deal - which would not have been possible a couple of years ago - is a deeply symbolic move.
"This is very much a business deal with a public focus.
So its emblematic I think of the changes, emblematic too of the international response to those changes and sport, being I guess the most global of industries around, certainly." The deal's importance is not likely to be lost on the millions of football fans in Burma.
While most of them won't be able to enjoy the spoils of their favourite English Premier League games in the comfort of their own home, the deal will allow them to watch international football in their own country.
And some may consider that a victory worth cheering for.