In an award ceremony that resembled the announcing of a national lottery, Thailand’s National TV regulator declared the winning bidders on December 25 of its new digital TV broadcasting licences.
Thai Broadcasting topped the auction, paying Thai Baht 2.355 billion (€52m) which was a reportedly a staggering six-fold rise on the opening bids of 380 million Bhat. However, this wasn’t the highest bidder, which was BEC-Multimedia which offered 3.53 billion Bhat for an HDTV licence.
Six other bidders also won licences: True DTT, GMM SD Digital TV, BEC-Multimedia, RS Television, Mono Broadcast and Bangkok Business Broadcasting.
Nine companies vied for seven HD licences. The other six bid winners, including Bangkok Broadcasting and Television which operates Channel 7 and Thai Rath, also bid prices above Bt3 billion, according to the regulator.
Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC’s Broadcasting Committee, said that the first round of auction for seven variety HD channels ended with the highest final bid price of Bt3.53 billion from BEC-Multimedia, while the lowest bid is Bt3.32 billion.