True DTT digital channel shoots for a spot in top five

Corporate April 08, 2014 00:00

By Usanee Mongkolporn
The Nation

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True DTT, operator of the True4U variety channel, aims to be one of the top five from the first day of the official digital-TV debut next month, said its managing director Rungfa Kiatipoj.

“The channel has positioned itself as a leader in reality shows and other variety content under the concept of ‘EnterTRENDment’. We’re targeting viewers aged between 15 and 35,” she said.
True4U will soft-launch some programmes next month before going into full operations on July 1. 
The channel plans to spend around Bt1 billion per year, of which Bt500 million will be for content and the rest for production and broadcasting costs. It aims to break even within seven years.
True DTT and Thai News Network, both subsidiaries of True Corp, each secured a digital TV channel licence in the auction held by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission last December. True DTT clinched a standard-definition (SD) variety-channel licence with a bid of Bt2.315 billion, while Thai News Network secured an SD news channel for Bt1.316 billion. 
True4U has set the charge for advertising airtime during prime time of 6pm to 10pm at Bt250,000 per minute. 
During the initial period, 70 per cent of its programmes will be foreign content. It will develop more of its own content in the following years. Among the highlighted programmes will be reality shows and its own remake of famous Korean TV series.
Rungfa said the channel would also beam its programmes to various digital platforms such as mobile devices.
She said it was difficult to predict how much revenue would be earned in the first year of operation. It may be hard to attract advertisers in the initial stage, given the lack of audience ratings for the digital programmes at first.
The NBTC is expected to grant licences for digital TV rating services this year. Sinthu Peatrarut, managing director for media client leadership of Nielsen Thailand, said the company was preparing to take on rating measurement for digital television. 
Many operators in the variety category have set high revenue goals in the digital era. RS and GMM Grammy expect profits from their new digital-TV channels in the first year of operation.
Recently Bangkok Media & Broadcasting Co (BMB), which will run PPTV, a high-definition digital channel (36), said it aimed to be one of the top two television stations within three years. It will spend Bt2 billion annually on the development and purchase of content, of which 70 per cent will be local and the rest foreign. 
Workpoint Entertainment has targeted Bt1 billion in revenue during the first year of operating its digital variety channel called Workpoint Creative TV. 
Mono Broadcast is set to launch its variety channel on April 29 by highlighting foreign action movies. It positions itself as “action TV”.

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