Amendment to concession pact 'legal'
The revision of TrueVisions' concession contract with MCOT allowing it to sell television commercials for at least six minutes per hour via its pay-TV channels was legitimate, the broadcasting panel of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said yesterday.
Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC's broadcasting committee, said that his panel agreed with the conclusion by the NBTC's legal subcommittee and concession-examination subcommittee. According to their findings, the two subcommittees pointed out that the contract amendment between MCOT and TrueVisions did not violate related NBTC law.
The issue arose in 2011 after Pramut Sutabutr filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court against the now defunct National Telecommunications Commission, which had neglected to take any action after he had lodged a petition relating to the contract amendment with the watchdog. Pramut is a former director of the Mass Communication Organisation of Thailand, which by the time of his lawsuit had been listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand as MCOT.
Under this amendment, MCOT allowed TrueVisions to sell airtime for six minutes of TV commercials per hour, after originally allowing no commercials at all. TrueVisions must pay 6.5 per cent of its annual income from the advertising to the state media enterprise in return. This payment is on top of a concession fee, which amounts to about 6.5 per cent of annual revenue from subscription fees. TrueVisions' contract with MCOT will expire in 2019.