Nation TV : We are ready for the big digital launch
February 12, 2014 00:00 By Watchiranont Thongtep
More than 250 leading media agencies yesterday flocked to a Bangkok venue for a briefing on revamped programmes earmarked for the new digital Nation TV and Now channels.
To build confidence among major advertising agencies, Nation Multimedia Group announced its content strategies for both channels, for which two of its subsidiaries obtained licences late last year from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
At that auction, NBC Next Vision won a licence for Nation TV, which will be a 24-hour news station, and Bangkok Business Broadcasting got one for Now, a "Biz-Life Variety" channel.
At yesterday’s event, NMG chairman Suthichai Yoon said both channels would feature innovative news reporting. The company plans to create "Nation News Cafes" and "Now Hangouts" as meeting points for individual news commentators who want to share ideas, interests and comments with news crews from the two stations. In the first year, at least 20 meeting points will be put in place in key provinces.
This is meant to be a platform to engage with the audience while encouraging them to co-create content and open conversations about key issues of the day with the two channels.
Apart from the meeting points, the company will help its news teams report and update developing stories as quickly as possible via cutting-edge technology like fibre-optic cable and third-generation-cellular live reports.
Suthichai said his professional news teams at both TV stations were also ready to cover stories elsewhere in Asia, particularly once the Asean Economic Community arrives next year. NMG is able to go beyond Thailand’s borders via the Asia News Network, which provides news updates from members in more than 20 countries. Nation Broadcasting Corporation president Adisak Limprungpatanakij said: "Content is always king in the media business." He said the company had prepared its existing flagship TV programmes and new ones to serve the demands of a variety of audiences.
Besides Nation TV’s famous hosts including Kanok Ratwongsakul, Teera Tanyapaibul and Veenarat Laohapakakul, there will be a troop of new-generation news anchors to help all viewers get up to date on breaking news developments and directions every day, with support from long-time correspondents in the field across the country.
Veteran journalists Suthichai Yoon and Thepchai Yong will join Nation TV to offer insights and analyses of the big stories of the day both in the country and around the globe. That will help people get a better understanding of how the news affects them.
"With the most trusted news team, Nation TV will offer different experiences in watching news programmes for all audiences," Adisak said. Highlight news-variety shows will be lined up in morning prime time from 5am-10am and in evening prime time from 5pm-1am.
The company will revamp its TV schedule by adding programmes hosted by some of the country’s most recognised news anchors.
Kanok, Teera and Veenarat will provide around-the-clock news in a morning show called "Kebtok Nation" from 8am-10am. Evenings will see flagship programmes such as "Khao Kon Khon Nation", "Kebtok Nation", "Nation X-File" and "Kom Chad Luek – News Hard Talk".
Nation Channel, which currently airs on cable and satellite TV, reaches only 1.4 million viewers a day. However, on the digital terrestrial TV platform being launched next month, the company expects Nation Channel’s successor Nation TV to reach more than 3 million viewers a day, rising to more than 10 million households as early as June.