State auditor finds against simulcast programming of Channel 3

Published May 19, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/State-auditor-finds-against-simulcast-programming–30285665.html

DIGITAL TV

THE SIMULCAST of Channel 3’s full analogue programming via digital channel 33HD, run by Channel 3’s sister company, appears to violate broadcasting regulations, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has found.

The state auditor is calling for either revision or revocation of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission resolution made on September 29, 2014, to allow BEC-Multimedia – the operator of digital-TV channel 33 in high-definition – to simulcast Channel 3’s full analogue TV programmes.

According to a source at the NBTC, the OAG sent an urgent notice in writing to the chairman of the broadcasting regulator on April 19 about its investigative report related to the NBTC’s transition from the analogue system to digital.

In the letter, signed by auditor-general Pisit Leelavachiropas, the state audit office found that three out of five members of the NBTC’s Broadcasting Committee had agreed in 2014 to grant permission to BEC-Multimedia to transmit all programmes from Channel 3 in support of the national transition to digital broadcasting.

The three assenting members were Thawatchai Jittrapanun, Supinya Klangnarong and Peerapong Manakit, while Natee Sukonrat – chairman of the panel – and Taweesak Ngamsanga had opposed the idea because BEC-Multmedia and Bangkok Entertainment Company were not the same entity.

The state auditor also acknowledged in its letter that BEC-Multimedia was definitely a separate corporate entity from Bangkok Entertainment Company – the analogue operator of Channel 3 – even though both companies were owned by the same shareholders and were under the management of stock exchange-listed BEC World, according to the NBTC source.

BEC-Multimedia won a licence to run a digital terrestrial-TV channel in the high-definition category two years ago, while Bangkok Entertainment Company runs Channel 3 under an analogue broadcasting concession contract with MCOT.

Under Article 43 of the Act on Organisation to Assign Radio Frequency and to Regulate Broadcasting and Telecommunica-tions Service and Article 9 of the Operation of the Sound Broadcasting Service and the Television Broadcasting Service Act, a radio frequency licence for sound broadcasting and TV broadcasting is the exclusive right of the licensee – and is not transferable.

Meanwhile, the authorised licensee shall carry out its broadcasting business by itself, and business management either whole or in part shall not be rendered or permitted to another person to act on its behalf.

However, allocating the time slot to another person to run programming shall be allowed in accordance with the criteria and procedures prescribed by the NBTC, while the authorised licensee is allowed to allocating a maximum of 40 per cent of its time slots.

The state auditor also pointed out that from October to December 2014, BEC-Multimedia had received Bt407.45 million from Bangkok Entertainment Company in return for telecasting Channel 3 programmes via its digital-TV channel.

It maintained that this indicated that the two entities’ operations were completely separate, while the full simulcast via digital channel 33 appeared to breach the criteria and procedures prescribed by the NBTC.

Given those facts, the OAG has urged the NBTC as the broadcasting regulator to either revise or revoke its 2014 decision on this matter, according to the source.

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