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Thai TV to be fined or blacklisted

Thai TV tried last month to give back two unwanted digital TV terrestrial frequencies in Thailand. Now the regulator is saying that it must still pay the remaining portions of its up-front licence fee and the annual fee that went hand-in-hand with the award of the frequencies.

Thailand’s National Broadcasting & Telecoms Commission (NBTC) is unequivocal, and saying if Thai TV does not pay up then it will blacklist the broadcaster.

“The NBTC’s broadcasting committee has agreed to send an official written notice to Thai TV about the suspension of its digital-TV licences if it fails to pay those fees within the next 30 days,” Sombat Leelapata, acting deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, said in Bangkok on June 22nd.

NBTC’s terms are tough, and designed to ensure a high degree of commitment from would-be digital broadcasters. The contracted licenses would amount to Thai baht 1.63 billion (about €42.7m) and daily fines of Thai baht 60,000 ($1800).

Blacklisting is a very real threat and would stymie any plan Thai TV had to switch to an all-DTH transmission.

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