Digital TV on, foreign news off

The coup makers have allowed all 24 digital-TV operators to continue broadcasting but international news channels remain off the air.

The National Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (NPOMC) summoned station operators to meet and discuss the situation on Saturday afternoon.

It allowed the six analogue free TV channels to resume broadcasting on Friday with the NPOMC mark in the upper left-hand corner.

The ban on 14 other channels and community radio stations remains in place.

The coup makers had suspended all TV stations early Thursday evening shortly after the military takeover was announced. For more than 24 hours, viewers saw nothing but the NPOMC screen with military and police logos, interrupted by occasional announcements read by a military spokesman.

International news channels including CNN, BBC, CNBC and Bloomberg remain blocked, but on TrueVisions the NPOMC screen has been replaced by colour bars.

The CNN and BBC websites remain accessible with complete and updated reports from Thailand, including video, with no attempt to censor them apparent.

An army spokesman said the unavailability of CNN and BBC on pay-TV was due to "technical problems" and attempts were being made to solve them.

However, TrueVisions said the channels remained off the air because "there may be materials that do not comply with NCPO announcements".

NCPO stands for National Council for Peace and Order, the revised name for the coup authorities as of Saturday.

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