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Kantana eyes big boost from digital TV

Kantana Group, a production company, expects to cash in on the transition to digital television with revenue growth of 30-40 per cent to Bt2.5 billion next year.

"My team has been in talks with the potential broadcasters of 24 commercial digital terrestrial TV channels to serve them as a content provider once they are up and running," chairman Jareuk Kaljareuk said yesterday.

The expansion would be mainly driven by assignments from the new digital TV broadcasters, he said.

To deal with the expected huge demand from the new TV stations, Kantana plans to hire 300 staff for both film and TV production crews next year.

With the additional manpower, the company wants to double TV production.

For example, it is aiming for 800 hours of dramas per year, up from 400 hours currently. Other genres such as game shows, variety talk shows and reality programmes will also follow this trend.

The company is working with leading creative personnel and directors in Japan, the United States and some countries in Europe to develop TV programming for Thai viewers, while his team is travelling around the globe to acquire the world's best TV formats to produce back home, he said.

"Dancing with the Stars" and "American Idol" are among the top international TV formats that the company has already secured.

The local version of "Dancing with the Stars" was launched this year on Channel 7, its cornerstone business partner for many decades.

Besides Bangkok Broadcasting and Television, the operator of Channel 7, Kantana is also keeping its doors open to the new digital TV broadcasters.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will hold the auction for digital terrestrial TV licences on December 26 and 27.

Jareuk declined to go into detail or name the potential digital TV partners.


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