NBC sets aside Bt160m for new studios, equipment for Nation TV
January 25, 2014 00:00 By Watchiranont Thongtep
Building on strong audience base, company looks to reach more than 10m households by June
In preparation for the launch of its digital terrestrial-TV channel, Nation Broadcasting Corp (NBC) has earmarked about Bt160 million to build its own downtown studios – Nation Broadcasting House – and procure production equipment.
The company will bring its new Nation TV channel, a 24-hour news station, to the digital-TV platform in March and hopes to reach more than 10 million households by June.
“With our current strong Nation Channel audience base in the cable and satellite-TV platforms as the country’s No-1 news station, we strongly believe that after taking to the airwaves through the digital terrestrial platform, Nation TV will also become the No 1 from day one,” president Adisak Limprungpatanakij said yesterday.
He made the remarks at the Bangkok Code building on Sathorn Road during a press briefing on the business direction of Nation TV in the digital terrestrial-TV era.
The building, which is currently being rented and is managed by King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thon Buri, will partly be renovated into a temporary down town studio, while another temporary downtown studio will be located on the first floor of Siam Discovery shopping centre.
Adisak added that both studios would be prepared as venues for promoting public awareness about its new digital-TV station. NBC will convert a large warehouse in conjunction with the Bangkok Code building into Nation Broadcasting House. The work will be complete in June, in order to prepare for Nation TV’s full operation.
Under a nine-year contract, NBC will lease the warehouse from the owner of the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre.
In order to prepare great content for the new channel, the NBC president said the company would revamp the current TV schedule by adding new programmes hosted by some of the Kingdom’s most recognised news anchors. These will account for about 30 per cent of airtime slots.
A number of highlight news-variety shows will be lined up in morning prime time from 5am to 10am, and evening prime time from 5pm to 1am.
Famous Nation Channel hosts like Kanok Ratwongsakul, Teera Tanyapaibul and Veenarat Laohapakakul will update around-the-clock news in a morning news show called “Kebtok Nation”, to be aired from 8am to 10am.
Meanwhile, in evening prime time, Nation TV will prepare flagship programmes such as “Khao Kon Khon Nation”, “Kebtok Nation”, “Nation X-File” and “Kom Chad Luek – news hardtalk”.
“Having had long experience in the news industry, we hope Nation TV will be able to take some of the audience base from analogue terrestrial Channel 3’s prime time news,” said Adisak. NBC projects that Nation TV will make a profit in its first operational year, based on a conservative revenue target of Bt729 million.
Meanwhile, the broadcasting committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission yesterday invited the 17 TV broadcasters and content-production companies that won in the spectrum auction of 24 commercial digital terrestrial-TV licences to select channel numbers.
Under the committee’s plan, the channel numbers for commercial TV broadcasting range from 13 to 36, while channels 1 to 12 are reserved for public TV.
Standard-definition children’s channels are numbered 13 to 15, SD news channels from 16 to 22, SD variety channels from 23 to 29, and high-definition variety channels from 30 to 36.
The top winner in each category has the privilege of selecting its channel number first. The channel numbers are set for the digital terrestrial-TV platform, but they may differ if viewers watch digital-TV programmes via cable or satellite-TV platforms.