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Hearing set on licence rules for rating agencies

NBTC to ensure fairness to all broadcasters

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission is planning a public hearing for June 26 on draft application-licence regulations for TV and radio programme-rating agencies. The regulations are expected to go into effect around August.

According to the draft, all rating agencies will have to apply for a seven-year licence. They will be granted in accordance with the Broadcasting Law, which allows foreigners to hold stakes not exceeding 25 per cent.

Currently, Nielsen is the favourite rating agency for the broadcasting industry.

Pasu Srihiran, executive director of the NBTC's broadcasting policy bureau, said the commission would regulate the rating agencies for fairness in service to all broadcasters.

Licensed agencies will have to send their rating standards, including sampling site methods and measurement procedures, to the NBTC for monitoring.

Rating agencies will have to pay about 4 per cent of their annual revenue to the commission. This will consist of either 2 per cent of revenue or Bt50,000, whichever is greater, as the licence fee and the same amount as universal service obligation fee. The USO fee will be transferred to the NBTC's research and development fund for developing the telecom and broadcasting industries.

The application regulations will cover three types of businesses: TV ratings, direct shopping businesses and SMS voting on TV, and multimedia businesses such as video-on-demand. Regulations for the latter two categories have not yet been drafted.

Application regulations are one of the four key regulatory categories planned for the broadcasting industry. The other three deal with terrestrial digital television operations: broadcasting networks, TV channels, and TV facilities.


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