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NMG expects digital TV to help double revenue in 3 years

Nation Multimedia Group projects doubling its annual revenues to Bt6 billion within the next three years, with 50 per cent contributed by the digital TV business.



NMG chairman Suthichai Yoon said the group would reach Bt10 billion in annual revenues in the next five years.

"We want to initiate the new 'social TV' concept to the local media industry. Under the concept, we will integrate TV and social media so that viewers will reach our content via their social media, such as mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube," he said.

Nation Group's three companies yesterday officially announced mobilisation of more than Bt2 billion in new funds to participate in the country's first auction of digital TV bandwidth and to finance new expansions that will position the group as a "game changer" in the fast-developing media landscape.

NMG, Nation Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and Nation International Edutainment (NINE) have notified the Stock Exchange of Thailand of their respective recapitalisation plans, which will see new shares and warrants issued.

NMG, the group's parent company, also announced an 87-per-cent jump in 2012 net profit to Bt191.3 million. Revenue last year rose 11 per cent to Bt3.1 billion.

Suthichai said in a statement that the group planned to bid for digital TV licences that the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) is scheduled to offer in the next few months as part of the liberalisation of the airwaves.

"We have seen tremendous opportunities driven by the national launch of the digital TV system, which will reach about 22 million households throughout the Kingdom," he said. "It is also the mission of Nation Group to this country, as this new regulation is widely open for professional players to participate in this fast-developing media landscape. We are ready and want to be part of history."

The NBTC will grant licences for both public and commercial digital terrestrial TV channels. Nation Group wants to participate in the bidding process for both news and variety channels. The NBTC will hold a spectrum licence auction for 24 commercial channels, 14 of which will be allocated for variety programmes.

Suthichai said that under the mobilisation, Nation Group would hold a stake of about 20 per cent, while 80 per cent would be for the general public.

"We can see that current advertising spending on TV, worth a total of about Bt68 billion, is in the hands of only two or three free-TV channels. We have seen a tremendous opportunity for growth, as part of that ad spending will be allocated to digital TV thanks to the introduction of digital broadcasting in the Kingdom," he said.

NMG currently has Bt4.1 billion in market capitalisation, compared with Bt141 billion owned by BEC and Bt33.3 billion owned by MCOT.

Adisak Limprungpatanakij, president of NBC, said the company would be quite ready and able to broadcast one month after winning a digital-TV licence.

Thepchai Yong, group editor-in-chief of NMG, said Nation Group had imagination and wanted to be part of any media innovation launched in the country. The group has introduced the Convergent Newsroom, which became its news-database pool and will be further developed to produce news and other TV programmes.

He said the group had also initiated many innovations such as ITV, a free-TV station; Nation Channel, a 24-hour news station; satellite TV; and iSnap, an application that allows readers of The Nation to scan a story or photo for more images and video.

"We are looking across the borders towards creating a regional network," Thepchai said. "We have joined with Asian News Network, which uses The Nation as a centre for gathering news and information exchanged among the members. ANN members also have their own TV programmes, such as cooking shows, tourism shows and soap operas. With the new digital TV, we will be able to connect with our friends in the Asean region."

Suthichai Yoon, second from right, Nation Multimedia Group (NMG) chairman; together with group editor-in-chief Thepchai Yong, right; president of Nation Broadcasting Corporation Adisak Limprungpatanakij, centre; NMG vice chairman Sermsin Samalapa, left; and NMG president Duangkamol Chotana, second from left. The executives gathered yesterday for an interview on Krungthep TV's 'Market Wise', in which they spoke about the group's plan to penetrate the digital TV business.


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