Thai army's Channel 5 to operate digital TV channel

Rebecca Hawkes | 05 June 2014

The Army-operated Channel 5 in Thailand is to migrate from analogue to digital television within four years after the award of a 15-year digital public TV licence.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Committee (NBTC) has approved the army's plan, which was proposed in March. Informative content will comprise 40% of programming this year, increasing to 50% in 2015, 50% in 2016, and 70% in 2017, reports The Nation.

The channel will reportedly be the model for the digital migration of state run, analogue TV stations – including the Public Relations Department's channel NBT and Thai PBS.

There will be 12 public digital TV channels, which, under NBTC regulations, are restricted from airing more than eight minutes per hour of corporate social responsibility advertising. Channel 5 will, however, be allowed to show 12 minutes of advertising each hour – on a par with commercial TV channels – reports the daily newspaper.

The Parliament TV channel will reportedly also be granted a digital public TV licence from the NBTC this year.

NBTC has also approved the application of satellite TV network PSI Holdings to convert from a free-to-air broadcaster to a pay-TV satellite operator. Including PSI, there are now 11 pay-TV satellite network operators in Thailand, and 21 free-to-air satellite TV platforms.