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Thai editorial: Curtain up on cutthroat digital TV scene


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Curtain up on cutthroat digital TV scene

The Nation

After a rough start, the stage is set for a new broadcasting platform in 2015

BANGKOK: -- After trials and errors, the coming year will see Thailand switch completely to digital broadcasting. There has been much talk about the quality and quantity that digital television will bring, but the underlying fact is that the birth of the platform marks the end of the monopoly-and-concession era. In 2015 Thailand's broadcasting industry will be a whole new ball game.

The saga of Channel 3 analog had threatened to halt proceedings before the first pitch. But, after the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission stepped in as referee and allowed the TV giant to air simultaneously on digital, the game was suddenly back on.

With the heavyweight TV station back on board, the digital era could begin in earnest. The telecom regulator watched in satisfaction as the analog audience began switching to the digital platform as expected.

Although the NBTC has been criticised for weak public relations and inefficiency in distributing the set-top boxes needed to watch digital TV, there has been a steady flow of viewers to the new platform. The total market share of 22 digital TV channels increased by 81 per cent in the eight months from April to November, according to Nielsen. Meanwhile the analog channels are losing their grip on viewers. Ratings for all existing terrestrial channels have declined. Significantly, market leaders Channels 7 and 3 - which now broadcast on a parallel basis on the digital platform - have seen their ratings plunge by 7.7 and 4.82 per cent, respectively.

The signals are clear: digital TV is up and flying and there is no looking back. Next year the forecast is for 17 million viewers, but digital TV could cast its net over a wider swathe of the population if NBTC can speed up network expansion and distribution of the set-top boxes.

Regardless, the anticipated number of viewers will be sufficient to separate the winners from the losers among broadcasters.

Industry observers have warned of fierce competition next year. Old rules have been discarded and traditional giants cut down to size on the new playing field. The odds are now even, with no competitor enjoying a clear advantage. Each starts with the same technology and the same potential audience. The quality of their content will now decide their fate, and failure to deliver could lead to early death. Combat will be cutthroat with 24 channels fighting to capture the attention of viewers. Fierce in the days when we only had four terrestrial channels, the heat of competition will be unprecedented in coming months.

If 2014 was marked by clashes over regulation, the coming year will be remembered for the battle between operators. The time for trial runs is over and there is little room left for error. The starting bell has sounded, and it is us - the

millions of viewers - who will judge the winners and losers in this new game.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion/Curtain-up-on-cutthroat-digital-TV-scene-30249989.html

-- The Nation 2014-12-17

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Maybe with modern technology there will be a change to more mature

sensible programs,without the bells,whistles and funny noises that occur

on a lot of Tv programs,especially soaps,its as though the were produced

for 4 year olds. BUT i am sure it will just be the same crap.only in digital.

regards Worgeordie

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