Thailand had expected to earn around 51 billion baht (€1.48bn) from a 2013 auction of 24 digital TV licences. But the cash has not flowed.
Thailand’s National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) says that revenues are just 23 billion baht.
Some of the reductions are self-inflicted given that the government decided in April to reduce completely waive the licence fees as well as those costs of honouring the ‘must carry’ fees. Other fees failed to materialise when some channels changed their minds about joining the digital bouquet.
“This is not a failure of the digital TV licence auction in 2013 because the broadcasting business has changed rapidly thanks to digital disruption driven by OTT platforms. No one realised this trend at that time,” said Takorn Tantasith (NBTC secretary general).
Seven digital TV channels through six operators submitted letters of intent to exit the sector to the NBTC on the May 10th submission deadline. The seven TV channels will get compensation that will differ depending on the winning price of each licence auction and the exact date when they are allowed to go off air.