The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) plans to regulate TV rating companies to promote competition in the industry.
Col Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC's broadcasting committee, said many broadcasting operators and advertising agencies require accurate ratings.
The regulator aims to regulate rating companies after commercial digital TV channels are auctioned.
"We are studying the possibility of regulating TV rating firms, making Thailand the first country to regulate TV ratings measurement," Col Natee said.
The first method of regulating rating companies is a paired comparison, while the second is to issue licences _ a method likely to be used here.
To promote competition, the NBTC plans to invite global TV rating companies to help promote the accuracy of ratings and measurement.
Advertising is an important mechanism for channel operators as it is a major revenue driver for broadcasting, Col Natee said.
Globally, advertising expenditure averages 2% of a country's gross domestic product (GDP) but ad spending in Thailand is only 1% of GDP, mostly from big companies.
Digital TV will open opportunities for small and medium-sized companies to reach TV advertising for both community and nationwide coverage. This will eventually boost the advertising industry as well.
Only one global company, AC Nielsen Thailand, is currently rating TV programmes in Thailand, and advertisers, who are largely multinational companies, accept its results.
Sinthu Peatrarut, managing director for media client leadership of Nielsen Thailand, said a few rating companies such as TNS Media Research are accepted by multinational companies.
Nielsen will import new equipment and software to work with the DVB-T2 digital TV system.
It currently measures TV viewership by installing TV meters in 1,550 sample households across the nation.
Nielsen aims to increase the sample size to 1,800 households for digital TV. That will start next January and results will be issued about two weeks later.
A further increase in the sample size will depend on the suitable size for Thailand and its operation cost. Thailand is still a small to medium-sized market for AC Nielsen, Mr Sinthu said.
About the author
- Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn
Position: Business Reporter