Friday, December 13, 2019

NMG shareholders to decide on returning Spring 26 channel licence to NBTC

Jul 09. 2019
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By The Nation

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The board of directors of Nation Multimedia Group Plc (NMG) on Monday will seek approval from the company’s shareholders for its proposal to let subsidiary Spring 26 Co Ltd return its digital TV licence to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

The extraordinary meeting of NMG shareholders is set for September 6. Spring 26 Xo Ltd uses the licence to operate the Spring 26 channel, previously known as Now26.

The NBTC has already allowed the channel to discontinue its broadcast service at 12.01am on August 16. The regulator will pay a net compensation of Bt 675.76 million to Spring 26 for return of the licence. The compensation will be paid within 60 days of the closure of its operations.

NMG intends to use the compensation to reduce its debt burden and use the balance amount as working capital.

After returning the Spring 26 channel licence, NMG will still operate one digital TV channel -- Nation TV Channel 22 -- which offers news programming.

Six commercial digital TV broadcasters announced on May 10 that they will return to the NBTC the seven licences that they hold. May 10 was the deadline given by the watchdog for companies to declare their intention to return the licences.

The licences being returned are: Bright TV's Bright TV Channel 20; Voice TV's Voice TV Channel 21; MCOT's MCOT Family Channel 14; and BEC World’s Channel 3's Family Channel 13 and 3SD Channel 28. Also exiting the crowded field are Spring News Television Co Ltd, which is returning its licence for Spring News Channel 19, and NMG’s Spring 26 Co Ltd, which will hand back its licence for Spring 26.

The move to let operators return their broadcast licences comes under relief measures announced by the National Council for Peace and Order in April in a bid to ease the financial burden of digital TV licence holders and telecom firms operating the 900MHz spectrum.

 

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