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Thailand: “Only a few digital TV stations will survive”

A worrying report in Sunday’s ‘Bangkok Post’ newspaper suggests that not all is well with the newly-launched digital TV system. The report concludes that “only a few digital TV operators of the 24 who launched are expected to survive” and already some broadcasters are adjusting their previous business models to attempt to stay ahead.

The market has hard experience of the risks involved with Thai TV already deciding not to take up digital licences, and facing fines and prohibitions as a consequence.

The newspaper quotes Pornpan Techrungchaikul, COO of Thai entertainment company RS Plc. The potential survivors will be operators who can make a return on investment within two or three years, adding: “The TV market is shaking itself up and will have a balance shortly.”

She believes the other digital channels will continue to fight by several means: adjusting strategy, adding attractive programmes, securing financial partners. Six or so of the 14 variety channels (including both high and standard definition) will thrive in the digital TV arena, Pornpan predicts. The rest won’t necessarily go out of business, but some will struggle with profitability.

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