GMM Z has removed all channels owned by rival RS Plc from its platform due to a dispute over broadcast fees charged by the latter.
The satellite-TV arm of GMM Grammy Plc notified its subscribers that RS's satellite-based Channel 8, Sabaidee TV, You Channel and Star Max Channel can no longer be viewed from its set-top boxes from this past Tuesday.
The announcement explained that GMM Z could broadcast these channels if it complied with conditions set by RS.
But the company considers these conditions to be in conflict with National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission regulations that stipulate companies licensed by the NBTC must not foster unfair competition.
Therefore, GMM Z decided to stop broadcasting all RS channels via its set-top boxes.
Company executives were not available for comment.
But Rungrat Sriphison, RS's senior vice-president for the broadcasting business, said his company proposed that GMM Z pay broadcast fees for its four channels because they are meant for commercial purpose.
Other companies broadcasting RS channels _ PSI Holdings, TrueVisions and IPM _ pay channel fees to RS.
"Content for our channels, ranging from music and drama series to entertainment news, is produced by us, so we hold the copyright. We also have the legal right to generate revenue from our content," said Mr Rungrat.
"Removing these channels from the GMM Z platform will not affect RS's channel ratings. The four channels performed very well before, and they will continue to do so."
A Nielsen Co survey shows Sabaidee TV, which presents Thai folk music from R-Siam, is Thailand's highest-rated satellite-TV channel, while Channel 8 comes in at No.2.
RS envisions itself as a multicontent media network company, one that creates its own strong media network through its Sunbox set-top boxes and partnerships with other satellite platforms such as PSI, said Mr Rungrat.
He said the company focuses on a variety of content covering all target groups and delivered through RS's entertainment media.
However, some GMM Z channels can still be viewed through Sunboxes, said Mr Rungrat.
RS achieved first-half revenue of 1.5 billion baht, up by 20% year-on-year, for a net profit of 178 million baht, up by 21%.
About the author
- Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn
Position: Business Reporter