The previously-announced Thai national TV broadcasting auction has now reached the conclusion of its bidding process, and the first batch of winners have been provisionally announced with the amount they have paid for the rights.
Following the first day of auctioning on 26 December, the Asian nation’s TV regulator National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission have announced that 7 operating companies have acquired new ‘digital TV broadcasting licences’ ahead of the start of a digital switchover beginning in 2014.
The lead bidder for regular TV services was noted as being Thai Broadcasting, who made a highest bid of THB2.355 billion (€52m), up sixfold on opening bids amounting to THB380m.
Their sum was not the highest on display for the day, though, as the HDTV bids reached even higher amounts, led by BEC-Multimedia with a THB3.53 billion offer for a winning licence. Also bidding in that department were 8 other companies in which a total of 7 winners were found for ‘variety HD channels’, all of whom put up bids of THB3.32 billion or more, and included Bangkok Broadcasting & Television (operators of Channel 7) and newspaper-turned broadcaster Thai Rath, according to NBTC.
On the standard definition side of the auction, winners that joined Thai Broadcasting in being listed as being able to set their sights to the new year and an initial presence and security in the new format were Bangkok Business Broadcasting, BEC-Multimedia, GMM SD Digital TV, Mono Broadcast, RS Television, and True DTT.
While there is another day of activity plus certification yet to be concluded from Thailand’s NBTC auction (with early reports claiming that almost all 7 news networks were won with bids of over THB1.3b), the core of their future digitial switchover offering is now pencilled in place, so will the regulators receive the service expected of them when that time (gradually) comes, and will the broadcasters get their money’s worth from their (inflation-caused) multi-billion bids?