Amid reports that GMM Grammy has failed to acquire a 20-per-cent stake in Cable Thai Holding (CTH), TrueVisions, the country's largest subscription-based TV channel operator, yesterday announced a partnership with CTH that would expand its viewer base th
CTH chairman Wichai Thongtang said that under the partnership, CTH member companies’ subscribers would have access to nine exclusive channels from TrueVisions, including True Explore, Travel Channel Thailand, Siam Sport TV, Star Soccer TV, True Sport International, and Speed Channel.
The service will be launched next month.
TrueVisions CEO Supachai Chearavanont said his company would have access to an additional 3.5 million cable-TV subscribers in the CTH network.
Meanwhile, Wichai denied the rumour that GMM Grammy’s bid to acquire 20 per cent of CTH had come to nothing.
GMM Grammy chief financial officer Premon Pinskul also said the company was still in negotiations with CTH.
However, the CTH chairman said the company had also received offers from other companies. It is, therefore, keeping its options open.
An industry observer told The Nation that the TrueVisions move was also considered as an attempt by the company to strike back at its key rivals, in particular GMM Grammy’s GMM Z.
On Tuesday, TrueVisions launched a partnership with PSI Holding, the largest manufacturer and trader of satellite-TV receivers, to offer a new box accessing free-to-air service, providing about 200 channels, including some exclusive channels from TrueVisions. Set-top box prices under the deal cost Bt850.
PSI targets sales of at least 300,000 of the new boxes by the end of the year.
Media observers consider such a move as a means of "birth control" in light of the emergence of GMMZ boxes and RS’s Sunbox, the newcomers in the market.
However, Dew Waratangtagoon, managing director for platform strategy at GMM Z, said intense competition should be good for growth in the satellite-TV sector.
"The company is ready to do battle via both a series of promotional campaigns and pricing strategy," he said.
He believes GMM Z boxes offer something different from the competition, particularly through local and international programming on four special channels: GMM Z Hits, GMM Z Genius, GMM Z Theatre and GMM Z Sport.
The company expects to sell another million boxes by end of the year, he added.
Meanwhile, RS chief operating officer Pornpan Techrungchaikul said TrueVisions’ big move in the market could confuse customers, as there were now many offers available on different set-top boxes.
With RS offering customers Sunbox access to live broadcasts of Spain's La Liga football matches in the 2012 to 2014 seasons, the company believes it can reach the target of 800,000 boxes in the next three years.
"So far, we have sold 150,000 boxes. Our target this year is 500,000 boxes," she said.