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Digital-TV operators’ shares surge on news of NBTC plan to ease their financial problems

Dec 04. 2018
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By The Nation

Share prices of some listed terrestrial digital-TV broadcasters surged in morning trading on Tuesday following reports of the telecom regulator’s plan to launch measures to ease their financial difficulties.

The stock price of RS rose 5.16 per cent to close at Bt16.30 per share at the end of the morning session on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, while that of Workpoint Entertainment went up 3.51 per cent to close at Bt29.50.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on Monday announced its plans for next year, which focus on extending a lifeline to the ailing digital-TV licence-holders and encouraging telecom operators to bid for new spectra.

The watchdog will kick off the new year by holding an auction of part of the 700MHz band, totalling 2 x 45MHz of bandwidth.

Part of the proceeds will be used to continue the NBTC’s subsidy of the digital-TV broadcasters’ cost of transmitting their programmes through satellite networks.

The NBTC wants to extend the subsidy period to 2022 after the current period expires at the end of next year.

The regulator will also use its own funds to continue to subsidise half of the broadcasting network rental fees of digital-TV licence holders through 2022.

The NBTC will also seek ways to help the broadcasters not to have to pay the remaining licence fee upfront.

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