MCOT and its content partner, Entertainment Lab, have launched "The Creator" project to seek new TV format developers to support and supply programmes to its television stations after the number of free TV channels jumped from six to 24 last year.
"Following the arrival of 24 digital terrestrial TV channels last year, those new players require a lot of content. With such huge demand, the prices of international TV formats are getting high. So we have to create our own strong and creative titles," Sivaporn Chomsuwan, the president of the company, said yesterday.
MCOT was aiming at creating Thai content and distributing them to overseas markets.
The state media enterprise has worked with veteran TV format maker Noppakorn Thongman to develop a talent search project to fill the gap with five formats – game shows, reality shows, drama series, documentaries, and children and family shows.
Noppakorn, the founder of Entertainment Lab, said the project would accept entries from this month to next month.
The "best of the best" proposals will get a chance to be developed as TV shows to be broadcast on MCOT’s TV networks – MCOT HD and MCOT Family.
The finalists might be showcased at international TV markets like MIPCOM, a global entertainment content market, and MIP TV, an American TV content market.
He said the content copyright would be shared by three parties: MCOT, Entertainment Lab and the content creators.
"This will help our TV stations to sustain themselves in terms of content development," Sivaporn said.
By next year, 65-70 per cent of total air time at MCOT HD would be taken up by in-house TV shows, up from about 50 per cent now.
For this final quarter, the company has earmarked about Bt300 million for content development and production.
However, MCOT HD is likely to face a difficult year after some leading digital TV stations became more aggressive in providing high-quality content.
The company targets this year’s revenue at Bt4 billion, about 20 per cent less than last year. The TV business will account for 54 per cent.