May 30, 2013 00:00
By WATCHIRANONT THONGTEP
Facing difficulty in expanding its cable network upcountry in such a tight time frame, subscription-based TV operator CTH has opted to introduce satellite-TV receivers in a bid to attract more subscribers to watch live broadcasts of English Premier League
The company will launch a basic package to watch 120 CTH pay-TV channels, and extra packages to watch 380 live EPL matches over the next season, which begins in August.
CTH targets replacing 1 million analogue set-top boxes with digital ones by the end of the year, but only 300,000 digital boxes have been deployed in subscribers’ households to date.
Kasem Inkaew, a member of CTH’s executive committee, said yesterday that the company had rented transponders from VNA-Sat, the Vietnam-based satellite provider, to transmit its signal for 125 channels to subscribers in the Kingdom.
CTH will sell its own satellite-TV receivers, which include turquoise KU-band dishes, and set-top boxes.
Though Kasem declined to disclose either the investment cost of the satellite-TV receivers or the name of the manufacturer, he did say that CTH’s more than 200 local cable operators would be distributors and sellers of the receivers.
The products are ready to be put on shelves next month at CTH’s cable operators and other retail stores across the country, he added.
Customers will have to pay Bt999 for a satellite-TV receiver, while cable-TV viewers who are not CTH subscribers must pay a Bt1,800 deposit for a digital set-top box.
To watch the company’s pay-TV channels, customers must subscribe to one of the following packages; Bt199 for 79 channels; Bt299 for 107 channels; Bt399 for 120 channels; and Bt899 for the basic 120 channels, including high-definition channels, plus five EPL channels in HD.
Kasem said that with the EPL content, the company was targeting 1 million subscribers from the satellite-TV platform, and another million from its cable-TV network.
Meanwhile, CTH yesterday announced its five main sponsors: Singha Corp, AP Honda, Toyota, Advanced Info Service and Thai Airways. Overall sponsorship revenue is about Bt3 billion, the company said.
Chief executive officer Kittsanan Ngampathipong said the firm was in negotiation with two other main sponsors, and deals would be sealed soon.