Investors, stock analysts flock to NMG's Digital TV Open House
Stock analysts and investors yesterday flocked to Nation Multimedia Group's Digital TV Open House to learn more about the ambitious plan to pioneer commercial terrestrial digital TV in Thailand.
High-ranking executives including NMG chairman Suthichai Yoon led the team to outline the group's strategic direction into digital broadcasting.
Three group companies will mobilise more than Bt2 billion by June to participate in the country's first digital TV auction and launch expansion projects that will position the group as a "game changer" in the fast developing media landscape.
Vice chairman Sermsin Samalapa said recapitalisation is the appropriate way to raise funds, thanks to the bullish stock market. NMG also wants to extend an opportunity to small individual investors.
NMG, Nation Broadcasting Corporation Plc (NBC) and Nation International Edutainment Plc (NINE) recently filed their recapitalisation plans with the Stock Exchange of Thailand, which will see new shares and warrants issued.
NMG will bid for a variety channel, NBC for a news channel and NINE for a children's channel.
The group estimates the starting price for a news channel licence at Bt400 million, for a variety channel at Bt800 million and for a kids' and family channel at Bt200 million.
The regulator has yet to finalise the number of terrestrial digital TV licences that a single party can bid for. The watchdog will auction 24 commercial channel licences, five of which are for news, five for kids and family, and 14 for entertainment.
If bidders were limited to two channels, the group would spend the leftover funds on strengthening NBC's business.
Suthichai said the group had comprehensive and strong media channels to support its move into the new field.
Editor-in chief Thepchai Yong said the group was well equipped to jump into the arena with extensive experience not only in news gathering but also in developing variety and docu-drama programmes, as well as skills in innovation and journalistic independence.
The group did not just care about making a profit but wanted to contribute constructive contents to serve society.
NBC president Adisak Limprungpatanakij said if there was a delay in the auction schedule, it would be just a little one.
The regulator's broadcasting committee said this week that the auction of 24 commercial digital TV frequencies may be delayed to the fourth quarter from August as the public hearings for supporting regulations may take time.
NMG projects a doubling of its annual revenues to Bt6 billion within three years, with half coming from the digital TV business. The group would reach Bt10 billion in annual revenues in five years.
NMG's stock closed up 8.6 per cent at Bt2.52, while NBC closed up 10.7 per cent at Bt6.70 and NINE closed up 1.1 per cent at Bt8.90.