Thai TV to be blacklisted if it refuses to pay fees

Economy June 23, 2015 01:00

By WATCHIRANONT THONGTEP
THE NAT

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THAI TV Co will be put on a blacklist by the broadcasting regulator within 30 days if it has not abandoned its insistence of refusing to pay the remaining instalments of its up-front licence fees and its annual licence fees.



 
  
The blacklisting would be the immediate result if the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) decides to suspend the companies two digital-television licences, for the Thai TV news channel and the Loca family channel. 
“The NBTC’s broadcasting committee has agreed to send an official written notice to Thai TV about the suspension of its digital-TV licences if it fails to pay those fees within the next 30 days,” Sombat Leelapata, acting deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, said yesterday.
Thai TV Co decided to give up its digital-TV business last month by refusing to pay the second instalment of the up-front fees, amounting to Bt288 million for the two licences. The company also failed to pay its annual licence fee, which is about 2 per cent of total annual income. 
Sombat said that if Thai TV Co wanted to relinquish its two licences, the expenses it would face would be about Bt1.63 billion, including the remaining five fee instalments, annual license fees and a daily fine of Bt60,000. 
“Thai TV must also inform audiences 30 days in advance before ending its broadcasting service,” he said.
If Thai TV wants to abandon the terrestrial-based digital platform and broadcast its programmes on satellite channels instead, the company might face a big problem from being on the NBTC’s blacklist, he added. 
That blacklist would ban the company from any broadcasting activities. Therefore, its plan to be a satellite-TV broadcaster will come to nothing.