New digital-TV players spending big [Bangkok Post, Thailand :: ]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 03--Digital-TV operators are investing huge sums to develop their channels, splashing out on content and newly established studios.
Surin Krittayapongpan, a vice-president of BEC World, which runs Channel 3, said his company is spending 1 billion baht to convert a two-storey parking lot into a studio for two digital-TV channels.
The new studio comprises three sub-studios. When finished within the next two months, it will increase BEC's capability to produce more content for the standard-definition variety and children's channels.
Mr Surin said BEC may migrate the existing Channel 3 to the digital platform. At first, advertising rates on the digital platform will be charged based on network coverage.
Last week, Amarin Television said parent Amarin Printing and Publishing Plc had approved a 5.869-billion-baht budget for digital TV. Of the total, 3.32 billion baht is for the 15-year licence fee, 2.45 billion is for the 15-year network rental and 100 million is for new studios and equipment.
The funding will come from Amarin Printing's cash flow and bank loans.
"This huge investment will synergise our media business to distribute our content to every platform and let us grow sustainably with progressive technology," said president Metta Utakapan.
Khemmathat Pholladet, president of Bangkok Media and Broadcasting Co, which runs the PPTV digital channel, said the company has allocated 2 billion baht for content development and equipment.
PPTV will pursue five key strategies of content, human resources, technology, finance and marketing.
In the initial period, the channel may not be 100% ready. It will air foreign content first and then local content beginning in the second half of 2014.
Vachara Vacharaphol, the chief executive of Triple V Broadcast Co, which runs Thai Rath TV, said the firm has set a 700-800 million baht for content production after investing in studios and broadcast equipment.
Starting out, 40-50% of Thai Rath TV will be news and informative content with the concept of "think different understandingly". It will forge a partnership with big and small content providers such as Kantana, Poly Plus and TV Thunder to produce content for the channel.
Paiboon Damrongchaitham, the chairman of GMM Grammy Plc, said GMM will spend 1 billion baht on its two digital-TV channels. The satellite channel GMM One will migrate to digital.
GMM is designing a concept for its SD variety channel, aiming at the mass market.
Meanwhile, MCOT is setting aside 1 billion baht for its digital-TV preparations including network expansion, human resources, a satellite-TV project and a regional communications hub.
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