Leading digital-TV broadcasters see chance to raise advertising rates

Economy August 08, 2014 01:00

By Watchiranont Thongtep

The N

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Three market leaders in the business of digital terrestrial television are witnessing an opportunity to raise their advertising rates in the near future, thanks to improvements in their audience ratings and market share.

Ongart Singlumpong, executive vice president of RS Channel 8, told The Nation that the station was the most popular channel during the period when it aired on the satellite-TV platform. And, since the company secured a licence to operate digital-TV broadcasting and shifted Channel 8 from satellite to the terrestrial-based digital platform, the variety channel remains the most popular channel among local audiences, he said.

Anticipating this good feedback from viewers, Channel 8 decided to raise its advertising rates in June – after the launch of digital-TV broadcasting service in May.

“Despite increasing the rates, our company also offers discount rates to some clients to keep them spending their advertising budgets with the station amid an economic recovery during the second half of the year,” he added.

Programming at Channel 8 appears to be strong, as it offers first-run drama and variety shows, and not rerun programmes. As a result, the company now sees an opportunity to raise its advertising rates again, planning to hike them in January by 50 per cent from the current level of between Bt20,000 and Bt200,000 per minute, said the RS executive.

Adisak Limprungpatanakij, president of Nation Broadcasting Corp – the operator of 24-hour news station Nation TV – also said his company was planning to raise advertising rates. They will rise to between Bt40,000 and Bt50,000 per minute, from the current Bt35,000 per minute. The increase will be announced in the final quarter of the year, he said.

Meanwhile, an analyst at KKTrade Securities – part of Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group – said Workpoint Creative TV was ranked No 2 in terms of popularity among audiences watching terrestrial-based digital-TV channels.

The station also has a strong viewer base from the satellite-TV platform.

Given these factors, the analyst forecast that Workpoint Creative TV had the potential to increase its advertising rate by 50-100 per cent from the current level of Bt15,000 per minute.

In a parallel trend, leading media investment firm Mindshare has witnessed a sharp increase in the viewing of free-to-air analog and digital channels, which provides opportunities for both advertisers and new broadcasters.

Napaporn Jeatawattana, head of The Exchange – a trading strategy arm of Mindshare – said in an earlier interview that Thai audiences currently spent an average of five hours and 11 minutes a day watching such channels, an increase of 16 per cent from four hours and 29 minutes daily before the arrival of 24 digital-TV channels.

Apart from the increased time spent watching digital TV, Nielsen (Thailand) also found that some 15 million people were already watching digital channels, translating into a 13-per-cent share of potential viewers in the roughly 22 million households in the Kingdom.

Among those digital-TV channels, the Media Agency Association of Thailand found last month that RS Channel 8 was ranked top with an audience share of 30 per cent, followed by Workpoint Creative TV with 22 per cent, and Nation TV and Thairath TV with 9 per cent each.