The Assembly of Cable TV Operators (ACO), the national body representing pay-TV operators, has added 61 channels from giant content providers to survive fierce competition and prepare for a smooth digital migration.
Of the channels, 37 come from TrueVisions, 11 from Triple T Network, six from Next Step, two from San Suk Network and one from RS. The highlights are True Asian Series, True X-Zyte, MySci and RS's Sun channel.
Vice-president Nuttachai Arksorndit said the ACO's newly arranged package, Superpack, will offer 140 channels, of which 61 are top-rated channels and 79 free-to-air channels. Subscription fees remain 200-350 baht a month.
These new channels will fulfil content demand from all subscriber segments, with sports content such as the Thai Premier League and Asian Volleyball Championship, high-quality films, nationwide and local news channels, documentaries and entertainment.
"With the regulations requiring all TV broadcasters to migrate to the digital system, we are pleased to bring together and offer good digital technology at an appropriate price to local pay-TV operators during the digital transition," Mr Nuttachai said.
The ACO has 203 members comprising small and medium-sized cable TV operators with 600,000 subscribers, representing 60% of total subscribers.
The digital transition of its members will be achieved this year.
TV operators will provide set-top boxes to receive digital signals with no fee charged to existing subscribers.
Anat Mekpaiboonwattana, the managing director of TrueVisions, said it is pleased to help operators improve their content and networks by providing technical advice.
Mr Nuttachai admitted the digital transition is quite difficult because of a lack of financial support.
The ACO wants members to cooperate over financial support, content and services to survive during the transition.
A two-way communications service including broadband internet is needed in the near future.
"We call on the government to help us with financial support. Some operators will quit the business, as they won't be able to adjust once the new regulation regime takes effect and consumer behaviour changes," Mr Nuttachai said.
Although CTH, the newly established pay-TV operator, launched a package with English Premier League content to attract customers, this has not boosted its number of subscribers as expected. CTH is not a member of the ACO.
About the author
- Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn
Position: Business Reporter