By THE NATION
The channel was switched off at midnight on August 31.
In May this year, six broadcasters informed the regulator of their intention to hand back the seven licences they had secured from the NBTC. May 10 was the deadline for broadcasters to declare their intention.
They are Spring News Television Co Ltd (for Spring News Channel 19) and Nation Multimedia Group (for Spring 26, formerly NOW26). The others are Bright TV (for Channel 20), Voice TV (Channel 21), MCOT (Family Channel 14) and BEC Multimedia (Family Channel 13 and 3SD Channel 28).
Spring 26, Spring News and Bright TV shut down their channels at midnight on August 15. Spring 26 received net compensation of more than Bt341.191 million, Spring News more than Bt405.837 million, and Bright TV above Bt273.419 million.
MCOT Channel 14 will exit at midnight of September 15. BEC Channel 28 and Channel 13 leave the airwaves at midnight of September 30. After these final exits, there will be 15 channels left in the crowded market.
The NBTC awarded 24 commercial digital TV licences via auction in December 2013, amassing around Bt50.862 billion in bid payments. Their 15-year licences were good from April 25, 2014.
However, the broadcasters found it difficult to survive due to unfavourable market conditions, coupled with brutal competition from formidable online media channels.