There’s been a lot of brouhaha in the news between the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and BEC, the owner and operator of CH3.
Now yesterday the NBTC announced that satellite and cable TV operators must not broadcast BEC’s analog TV channel as it is no longer a free-TV channel in Thailand and that this ban must take effect within 15 days. You can imagine how peeved this has made BEC executives because satellite and cable TV’s combined penetration rate comes to almost 70% of Thai households, so if this ban were to take effect and if the satellite and cable TV operators comply with this rule, BEC’s viewership will decline massively.
Then the NBTC has come out saying that BEC’s analog TV Channels can only broadcast via antennas, now there’s only a 30% penetration rate of this in Thailand.
So in a nutshell, BEC loses viewers, loses potential advertisers. And what can do they do?
1. They could apply for satellite and cable TV licenses, but the regulations on advertising per hour will limit them to 6 mins / hour vs the 12 mins/hour they enjoy on analog TV.
2. Transfer all of its content to broadcast solely on its digital TV, which is fine for BEC as they have all the necessary licenses but there are more fees i.e. 4% revenue sharing w/ the NBTC.
In the end it looks to me that the NBTC are trying their damned best to strongarm BEC into shifting 100% to the Digital TV platform, it’ll be interesting to see how this all unfolds.
In the meantime, their stock price has been taking a beat of a beating in recent months, see below