The Nation

TV channel for Grand Prix Group

Grand Prix Group, the organiser of the annual Bangkok International Motor Show and publisher of Grand Prix magazine, as well as being the organiser of various motorsports events, has announced the introduction of "Grand Prix Channel", its first venture into television.

Grand Prix International's vice chairman Anothai Eamlumnow said the new channel was expected to become Thailand's leading automotive television channel, under the concept "Drive your Life"."The idea arose three years ago and initially we were just collecting information and brainstorming how to set up a television channel to support the growth of the Thai automobile industry in the way that it deserves," he said.A new company, Auto Life, was set up to produce programmes with top names in the television industry as well as "new generation" identities."In the auto industry, we are the leader, whether in printed media or staging a world class event like the Bangkok International Motor Show. We also organise events for automobile companies as well as organising motorsports events, and the birth of Grand Prix Channel is a very big step for Grand Prix Group," Anothai said.He said the new channel would help to drive the industry."It will be a channel for everyone in the automobile industry. We have space for every company, in terms of advertisements at very reasonable prices when compared to free-to-air television. We will be neutral in our presentations and we have more than 40 programmes," he said."We will broadcast high-quality programmes and news on a daily basis, closely following the movements of the automobile industry. At the same time, we want to offer knowledge and entertainment to our viewers. There will be technical question-and-answer programmes along with motorsports, variety shows and documentaries. We have 20 locally-produced programmes and 20 foreign programmes," he said.Although the content and quality of the programme might seem to be the biggest challenge facing the new channel, the hardest work will be in distributing satellite dishes to target customers. "Our target customers are people whose lifestyles are connected to automobiles, and this covers all of us. Grand Prix Channel will become the first choice for those looking for information about the automobile industry," Anothai said."Presently the audience prefers free-to-air TV, but according to our studies there are more viewers who want to choose what they watch and the opening of the auto channel is a timely move," he said.Grand Prix Channel can be viewed via a PSI satellite dish. Presently there are 4 million such dishes around the country and the service provider plans to raise the number to 6 million dishes before the end of this year.Interested viewers can contact PSI representatives for installation. It costs Bt3,900 and offers 200 channels. Grand Prix Channel is 111.By joining hands with major cable operators and the Cable TV Association, the number of viewers able to tune in to Grand Prix Channel amounts to 15 million families around the country. And with a new Internet network, as many as 23 million households will have access to Grand Prix Channel."Within a year, we aim to be the number one channel for people consuming automotive news, knowledge and entertainment, and within five years we aim to become a leading automotive channel in the Asean region," Anothai said.The birth of Grand Prix Channel can be considered as a "completion" for the Grand Prix Group as a leading automotive media company in Thailand and the Asean region, he said.

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