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Digital-TV licence bidders told to heed auction rules

THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING and Telecommunications Commission has reiterated that all bidders should attend the upcoming auction for |commercial digital terrestrial-TV licences in the categories for which they applied.

They should strictly comply with the auction rules to prevent any unintended violations, the NBTC said yesterday.

"Any bidder that causes the auction in a TV category to be delayed or cancelled will be charged for the cost of holding a new auction" in that category, Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the watchdog's broadcasting committee, said after the completion of a mock running of the digital-TV auction at CAT Tower.

The NBTC invited the media to observe the test of the auction facilities.

In terms of investment, it has spent about Bt20 million on software development for the auction and the auction service provided by CAT Telecom.

Natee said five members of the broadcasting panel would be the key decision-makers tasked with voting to determine whether to suspend or cancel the auction if they receive a complaint.

After the auction begins, all participants must make their opening bid within the first five minutes. If they fail to do so, their guarantee deposits - calculated at about 10 per cent of the reserve price for each category - will be confiscated, he said.

The reserve price for variety TV in high definition (HD) is Bt1.51 billion, while the figure for variety TV in standard definition (SD) is Bt380 million. For news in SD, the amount is Bt220 million, and for children's and family channels in SD it is Bt140 million.

Natee hopes all bidders will be well prepared and that they will play their part in ensuring that the auction runs smoothly.

The broadcasting committee is due to hold the spectrum auction for 24 commercial digital terrestrial-TV licences on December 26 and 27.

Twenty-nine companies purchased a total of 41 application documents for the auction.

Nine applicants will go for seven TV licences for variety HD channels, and 16 applicants will vie for seven SD variety licences.


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