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Historic auction of digital TV channels set for live broadcast today, tomorrow

PRIVATE citizens will be able to observe the country's first spectrum auction of 24 commercial digital terrestrial TV licences via live programming aired by the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS), says the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

The NBTC will hold the auction today and tomorrow at CAT Tower in Bangkok's Bang Rak district.

"The live programme will begin with the opening ceremony of the event around 10.30am [today]. The live broadcast will run until the first round of the auction for seven variety channels in high definition is complete and the winners are named, around 12.30pm," said Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the commission's broadcasting committee.

The live broadcast of the second round of the auction for seven variety channels in standard definition (SD) will run from around 3.30pm to 5.30pm.

Tomorrow's live broadcast will be similar to today's. The auction of seven SD news channels will begin in the morning and that for three SD children's and family channels will be in the afternoon.

Natee explained that the timing of the live programmes each day might be changed by Thai PBS but he wished to make it clear that this event, marking the country's historic transition from analog to digital broadcasting, would proceed transparently.

During the two-day auction, 29 companies that submitted 41 applications to bid for the 24 commercial TV licences will take part.

With a starting-bid price of Bt1.51 billion, the nine companies competing for the seven variety HD channels are Bangkok Broadcasting and Television, PM Group, Amarin Television, MCOT, GMM HD Digital TV, BEC-Multimedia, Thai Broadcasting, Bangkok Media and Broadcasting, and Triple V Broadcast (a subsidiary of the publisher of Thai Rath newspaper).

With a starting-bid price of Bt380 million, 16 firms vying for seven variety SD channels are Bangkok Business Broadcasting, BBTV Satelvision, GMM SD Digital TV, BEC-Multimedia, Voice TV, Thai Broadcasting, Thai TV, MCOT, RS Television, Amarin Television, Triple V Broadcast, 411 Entertainment, Touch TV, Bangkok Media and Broadcasting, Mono Broadcast and True DTT.

The 10 companies chasing seven news channels are NBC Next Vision, Voice TV, Post TV, Thai TV, I-Sport Media, 3A Marketing, DN Broadcast, Thai News Network, Springnews Television and Mono Generation. Those companies must start under an opening bid of Bt220 million.

Meanwhile, with a starting-bid price of Bt140 million, the six enterprises aiming for three children's channels are Nation Kids, Thai TV, MCOT, Rose Media and Entertainment, BEC-Multi-media and True DTT.


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