Wed, December 01, 2021

in-focus

Jatuporn set to ring the curtain down on Peace TV over crushing debts


Red shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan has decided to shut down his “Peace TV” channel on June 30 after almost eight years in operation due to overwhelming debts, according to his Facebook video posted on Wednesday.

Jatuporn is one of the core leaders of the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), also known as the “red shirts”, and a former parliament member from the Pheu Thai Party. He has been a long-time supporter of the Thaksin administration and has stood against any subsequent governments opposed to it, including the current Prayut administration.

His television channel was launched on December 10, 2013 (Thai Constitution Day) as UDD TV (United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship Television), changing its name to Peace TV on September 1 the following year. It reaches the public via satellite, cable, and web streaming, with a focus on supporting liberal democracy.

“Peace TV has always been a target of the NBTC [National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission], which time after time has tried to shut down the channel for various reasons,” Jatuporn said.

The NBTC revoked the channel’s licence on April 27, 2015, but it relaunched on July 21 that year under temporary protection by the administrative court. It closed again from July 21 to August 21, 2016, during the constitutional referendum.

“Every time we are ordered shut we seek the court’s protection, but it usually took the court about three months to issue protection, during which time we have not earned any revenue from commercials,” Jatuporn said.

“We have tried to stay afloat by cutting working hours and employees' salaries, but this has not helped much so we have decided to shut down the channel for good from June 30,” he said.

A source revealed that Peace TV has accumulated debts of more than THB140 million.

Jatuporn added that although the TV channel would be closed, he would continue to fight the “Prayut regime” via social media including Facebook and YouTube, which combined have about 1.5 million followers.

Published : June 17, 2021

By : THE NATION