New satellite channel targets rural communities

Corporate November 10, 2011 00:00

By Watchiranont Thongtep
The Nat

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A former president of the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association (TBJA) has launched a new satellite television, Blue Sky Channel, to provide news and information programmes to support people in rural communities.

Questions have been raised about the channel’s political affiliation due to a variety talk by the leader of the opposition.

Last week, Blue Sky Channel was screened on the satellite television platform of IPM channel 42 and KU-band, operated by a company with the same name, and a registered capital of Bt5 million.

Director Takerng Somthup, a key founder who was former president of TBJA and former managing director of TV production company Watch Dog, told The Nation that the company had a budget of Bt20 million for this new satellite station. It is expected to be officially launched by next month.

After the full launch, he said Blue Sky Channel will offer an array of programmes including news, up-to-date information, economic and political analyses as well as educational programmes and documentaries for small-and-medium enterprise (SMEs), particularly in rural communities.

In the first phase, general interest content would comprise about 60 per cent of programmes while the rest would be information regarding distance-learning programmes and SMEs. All content will be transmitted from its headquarters at Bangkok Tower on New Petchaburi road.

One of the highlights is a variety talk show “Fah Wan Mai” with former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, Takerg added. This programme will be aired from 8am to 8.30am on weekdays, starting from November 14. Abhisit will give a 15-minute phone interview during the programme, sharing his opinion on the current situation.

Meanwhile, the station has its own Facebook to interact with its audience. Yesterday, many Democrat Party members such as Vittayen Muttamara tweeted the message to introduce Abhisit’s programme.

Though the channel’s identity, colour and theme were akin to that of the Democrat Party, he denied there was any link between the station and the party, saying the party would be violating the Constitution if it became involved.

He said the company expected to break even within two years. The main sources of revenue are from sponsorship and in-house direct sales business.

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