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BEC puts off channels' launch

Bangkok Entertainment Company (BEC) will postpone the launch of its three new terrestrial-based digital TV channels - 3SD, 3HD and 3Family - to next year to ensure that it sees enough return on its programming investment.

"The majority of the audience is not ready for digital terrestrial TV because of some difficulties. So I think there is no value in investing in content for the new digital channels during the remaining months," Pravit Maleenont, executive director at BEC World, the parent company of BEC, said yesterday.

In addition other difficulties, the digital TV network is still limited, public relations campaigns that should be supported by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to raise awareness of this new broadcasting service remains poor, while the audience for digital TV is still small.

Speaking as an executive of BEC Multimedia, the operator of the 3SD, 3HD and 3Family digital channels, Surin Krittiyaphongphun, executive vice president of BEC, agreed that current situation meant this was not the right time for the launch.

According to Nielsen (Thailand), by last month some 15 million people were already watching digital channels, translating into a 13-per-cent share of potential viewers in the roughly 22 million households.. To prepare for this opportunity, the company spent Bt300 million on acquiring the rights to telecast 23 live English Premier League soccer matches.


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