NBC Chairman Expects Digital TV Industry to Give Thumbs Up on the Implementation of Relief Measures for Entrepreneurs by Injecting Bt 4,984 million in Working Capital

Col. Natee Sukonrat, Ph.D., Vice Chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC Vice Chairman) and Chairman of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), anticipated that positive trend in Thailand’s television industry can be expected in 2017 as a result from the implementation of various measures for promoting and supporting digital TV industry in with Section 44. This includes the extension of license fees payment period and providing financial supports for 3-year period in carrying out the operations under Must-Carry Regulation. These measures are expected to clearly cut down the costs of digital TV entrepreneurs this year and raise working capital within the industry by as high as Bt 12,615 million. In the year 2017 alone, the working capital within digital TV industry is expected to climb up by Bt 4,984 million, boosting the investment capital of each television channel for further quality improvement and contents development.   

With positive GDP growth and rising consumption rate in 2016, manufacturers and service providers are expected to increase their TV advertisement spending with the aim to boost higher consumption rate. At the same time, the shifting of investment capital from large-sized businesses to television industry through purchase of shares in Digital TV channels such as One Channel and Amarin TV will not only help to financially strengthen digital TV industry but also the overall television industry, particularly in terms of advertising capital injection.

NBC Chairman also mentioned that positive growth can be observed among related industries such as OTT business, Home Shopping TV and Mobile DTV due to wider access channels available for the audience. OTT service in particular has become widely used, making it one of the most popular platforms for contents presentation. This is not only challenging for a regulatory body like NBTC but also Free TV and Pay TV businesses which needed to develop a new strategy.

“In the case of Free TV, the audience can now conveniently access contents via cross platform. Pay TV, on the other hand, must improve its contents by delivering high-quality and interesting contents at affordable price. Meanwhile, the difference between Free TV and OTT services in terms of regulatory measures is another factor reflecting the need for development of clear licensing model for each service type,” stated NBC Chairman.

The Chairman further explained that Home Shopping TV is another business of which clear expansion can be expected this year and has high growth potential due to increasing number of new players entering the market. As more Home Shopping TV entrepreneurs today tend to advertise their products and services on Free TV and Digital TV, television industry therefore earns additional income from airtime rental for commercial purpose. Nevertheless, regulatory measures needed to be clearly defined for supporting the growth of such business.

In addition, positive growth in Mobile DTV industry can also be observed especially from 2013 – 2016 during which approximately 1.53 million Mobile DTVs were sold in the market. This is due to many contributing factors such as increasing consumer demands and the expansion of Digital TV network and service coverage covering every region.

 NBC Chairman further mentioned that during the past year the majority of Thai viewers preferred to access television contents via satellite channel (55%), followed by Digital TV channel (30%), Analogue channel (9%) and lastly Cable TV channel (6%).
In 2016, the number of viewers of original television channels throughout the whole has continuously dropped from 61.1% in January to 46.8% in December. The number of viewers of Digital TV, on the other hand, has continuously climbed up from 38.9% in January to 53.2% in December as Digital TV network coverage has reached 91.7%. 

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