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Thai junta eases gag on TV and radio outlets

Publication Date : 04-06-2014


The future of the others would depend on whether they would change their content focus


Back on Thailand's television screens are 333 satellite TV channels, 211 pay TV channels and 24 IPTV channels, six analog free TV channels and 23 digital TV channels - after they were suspended by the military coup.

According to National Broadcasting and Telecommu-nications Commission (NBTC) secretary general Takorn Tantasit, that leaves 98 satellite TV channel operators awaiting the approval of the NBTC and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) for the resumption of their operations.

Their broadcasting future, he said, depended on whether they would change their content focus, which had been mainly on heavy provocative political issues and advertising with exaggerated claims of product quality.

Meanwhile, 13 satellite TV channels and the digital Voice TV channel remain banned from airing.

"They will be allowed to resume their operations when the situation in Thailand gets better - and if they change their programme content to focus on non-political issues," Colonel Pirat Banjongkhian, director of the military technology centre of the Royal Thai Army headquarters, said.

He said the NCPO would not take into consideration the ownership of Voice TV when deciding whether to allow it to resume operating.

Voice TV is owned by the Shinawatra family.

Yesterday, the NBTC and Pirat - as a representative of the NCPO - held a press conference on the status of all TV and radio broadcasting nationwide.

For radio broadcasting, Takorn said 7,300 radio stations were banned by the NCPO order.

Out of the 7,300 radio stations, 4,300 were community radio stations and 3,000 illegal radio stations operating without licences.

Takorn said the NBTC was now considering resumption of radio issues as the next step following deals with television.

Meanwhile, a community radio group, which claims 315 community radio stations as members nationwide, yesterday submitted a letter to the NBTC to consider its request for authority to resume its stations' operations.

It said the NBTC should lift restrictions on the radio stations which were never involved in any political issue.


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