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NMG to get Bt675 million compensation for return of TV licence

Jun 10. 2019
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THE National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will pay a compensation of more than Bt675 million to Spring 26 Channel (formerly NOW26 channel) and more than Bt500 million to Spring News Channel 19 after they return their digital TV licences to the watchdog.

Both channels will go off the air at midnight on August 15, NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said yesterday. He added that the compensation would be paid to them within 60 days of the channels going off the air. The NBTC board is expected to consider approval of the date for shutdown of the channels later this month.

Six commercial digital TV broadcasters announced on May 10 that they were returning the seven licences they had secured from the NBTC. May 10 was the deadline for any broadcaster to declare their intention to return their licences.

The six broadcasters returning their licences included Spring News Television Co Ltd’s Spring News Channel 19, and Nation Multimedia Group (NMG)’s Spring 26 Co Ltd, which will hand back its licence for Spring 26 Channel (formerly known as NOW26 channel). The others are Bright TV, which is returning its licence for Channel 20, Voice TV for Voice TV Channel 21, MCOT for MCOT Family Channel 14, and BEC World’s Channel 3 for its Family Channel 13 and 3SD Channel 28.

The NBTC has set up a subcommittee to work out the compensation amounts for these six broadcasters. The subcommittee considered the cases of Spring News and NMG first yesterday, as they were the first to submit their proposals for compensation and plans to compensate staff affected by the shutdown of their channels. Bright TV sent its proposal on compensation to the watchdog yesterday. Spring News had offered Bt1.318 billion to win the licence, of which it had already paid Bt878.2 million upfront in four instalments.

According to the NBTC subcommittee’s calculations, Spring News will lose use of the licence for 3,540 days counting from the date of the channel’s shutdown on August 15 to the end of the licence term on April 24, 2029. The total unused period amounts to a compensation of Bt567.407 million. After deducting the amount of government subsidies granted to digital TV licence holders until August 15 and the channel’s net profit this year of Bt4.4 million, the channel will be compensated with a net amount exceeding Bt500 million.

Spring 26 Channel (NOW26) offered Bt2.2 billion to win the licence, of which three instalments amounting to Bt1.472 billion had already been paid.

According to the NBTC subcommittee, the channel will get a net compensation of Bt675 million. The offer for operators to return their licences and get |compensation was part of measures announced by the National Council for Peace and Order in Aprilto ease their financial burden.


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