By Kwanriam Kaewsuwan
The country's current hottest issue - the controversy over the broadcasting of Euro 2012 football matches - was put up for discussion at a Nation University classroom yesterday.
Nation Multimedia Group (NMG) chairman Suthichai Yoon raised the issue for debate by first providing an overview of the row between GMM Grammy and cable television provider TrueVisions, which has dominated news reports over the past few weeks.
GMM Grammy, the sole holder of the tournament’s broadcasting rights in Thailand, has to date allowed the matches to be broadcast on free-to-air channels only. TrueVisions has been fighting fiercely to be allowed to relay the matches via its satellite signal too.
“Why has this problem occurred? Who’s at fault? What’s your opinion?” Suthichai asked his students.
In line with Nation University’s philosophy, professionals are conducting classes to equip the students with professional skills and viewpoints.
Suthichai led this discussion alongside Nation Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) president Adisak Limprungpatanakij.
Thanyapisit Lertbamrungchai, a second-year student at the university’s Faculty of Mass Communication, said that though he was not in a position to comment on who was wrong, he felt the problem should be brought to an end. “This problem has hurt many consumers,” he said.
Thanyapisit is managing editor of the Nation UMG project.
Another student stood up to express her opinions. “GMM Grammy has paid a lot for the broadcasting rights. I understand that it will want to protect its business interest in this case,” second-year student Rungroj Suksusas said.
Suthichai reminded the students that expressing one’s opinions was a good thing, but one should understand that no single opinion is either absolutely right or absolutely wrong.
“The point here is that we need to look at an issue from all aspects,” he explained. “No matter which field of study you are in, you have to have a comprehensive viewpoint.”
On the GMM Grammy/TrueVisions quarrel, Suthichai believes the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) should play a greater role. However, he conceded that the NBTC could not have complete authority over the case because both these companies had been set up before the television watchdog was created.
Adisak, meanwhile, encouraged students to gain as much information as they can on the NBTC because this agency will play a much greater role in the field of media.
“The NBTC has 11 members, whose appointments were given royal endorsement last year,” Adisak said.