Thai satellite manufacturers lobby for broadcast fee reductions

Michelle Clancy | 29-12-2012

As local Thai satellite operators gear up for a reduction in the required licensing fees paid to the government, satellite broadcast equipment manufacturers have also demanded reductions in their licensing fees.

The country’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) draft regulation would cut public-service digital terrestrial TV broadcaster fees in half if they agree to devote more than 50% of their programming to news and educational shows, noted local news source the Nation.
Niran Tangpiroontham, managing director of Infosat and president of the Satellite Dish Club, told the Nation that the supply chain ecosystem in total—including equipment providers and distributors—should be part of the NBTC’s consideration, because they are key in delivering programming.
Supinya Klangnarong, an NBTC commissioner, said during a hearing on the matter that it would be difficult to include all stakeholders in the transmission ecosystem, but that the commission would weigh the suggestion.
Napasak Kotwiboon, managing director of PSI Holding, noted that his distribution company has its own documentary/education channel called Saradee.
"I personally suggest that a network provider with its own TV channel should get a 15% discount on the normal annual licence fee if it is committed to delivering informative and education-oriented programmes in more than 50% of its time slots," he said.
Existing rules say that satellite TV network providers must pay 2% of annual gross income as a licence fee and another 2% towards the commission's research and development fund, the Nation noted.