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Licence holders form digital terrestrial TV broadcasters' club

Seventeen companies that recently obtained licences to operate 24 commercial digital terrestrial-TV channels have established a club to speed up the promotion of public-awareness campaigns about the new broadcasting service.

The club will also tackle key issues such as rating measurement and co-regulation. The newly formed group, which is expected to be named the Club of Thailand's Digital Terrestrial TV Broadcasters, will have among its members Nation Multimedia Group, MCOT and Bangkok Entertainment Company.

At yesterday's inaugural meeting facilitated by MCOT, high-profile executives from the 17 companies appointed well-known TV host Suphap Kleekachai, director for news production at Thai TV, as acting chairman of the club, and a representative from MCOT as its secretary. The club consists of 11 committee members.

Suphap said the member companies planned to register the club as an association soon, in a process that could take several months to complete. The key item on the club's agenda will be the raising of public awareness about digital terrestrial TV, which will be officially launched in April.

"There are only about 40 days left before the historic debut of digital terrestrial TV in the Kingdom, but public awareness remains very limited at the present time," he said.

Club members will convene again tomorrow to discuss further details, before making an appointment to meet the broadcasting committee at the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission as soon as possible.

"The promotion of the coming digital terrestrial TV broadcasting service is the NBTC's main obligation," he stressed.

The club will also seek financial support from the watchdog by submitting a proposed promotional plan for digital television.

MCOT president Anake Permvongseni said that apart from building public awareness of digital TV to 22 million households, the club would underline the establishment of a new method of TV audience measurement to complement media research giant Nielsen's rating system.


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