Analogue Channel 3 to air until 2020

Channel 3 confirmed its analogue broadcast will continue to be available until 2020 in a management statement reported on its morning news programme Rueng Lao Chao Ni.

It said that analogue Channel 3, branded Channel 3 original, still can be viewed via territorial antenna, satellite and cable networks.

Viewing only through territorial antenna will be available until 2020, the year its analogue concession granted by Mcot Plc will end.

The statement saids the point of discussion is whether the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) will continue to allow satellite and cable TV operators to broadcast its Channel 3 original or not.

It said the NBTC and some digital TV operators want Channel 3 original to do “simulcasting", the simultaneous broadcasting of the same content on both analogue and digital channels, to speed up the transition of the Thai television industry to the digital system as soon as possible. 

However, Channel 3 is of the opinion that the NCPO’s announcement No. 27 should be applied to protect the public benefit, to allow around 70% of the country, or 15 million households, to be able to continue viewing  Channel 3 original as usual.

Channel 3 said it has fully supported the transition to digital television, and its subsidiary has acquired three digital channels.

The company that won the licences for digital television channels is a different company from that operating Channel 3 original. The new company has as clear business plan under which which Channel 13 Family aims to present programmes for children and families, Channel 28 SD (standard definition) is preparing for future business growth, and Channel 33HD (high definition) is for Channel 3 original in six years, in 2020. 

The statement said Channel 3 welcomes negotiations with the NBTC, but must be careful about  broadcasting its Channel 3 original earlier than its plan calls for, because it is a public company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The negotiations must fair and respectful of its rights. 

The NBTC has called a meeting with Channel 3 executives on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the issue.

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