NBTC allows 7 banned channels to go on air with new names (The Nation)


NBTC allows 7 banned channels to go on air with new names (The Nation)

ACTING ON the junta's decision to lift a previous ban on several satellite channels that acted as mouthpieces for political parties, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) gave the go-ahead to seven channels to resume broadcasting.

They are among the 12 satellite TV channels that were suspended after the May 22 coup.

NBTC's broadcasting committee yesterday awarded a one-year operating licence to seven channels on condition that they strictly comply with the National Council for Peace and Order regulations and apply self-censorship. These channels were also required to change their names.
The channels allowed to go on air include AC Television's MV5 channel, now called Five Channel; Democrat Party's Blue Sky channel, now known as Fah Wan Mai channel; Boon Niyom Foundation's FM TV channel, now renamed Boon Niyom Channel; and ASTV (Thailand)'s ASTV channel, now called News 1. Also included are P&P Channel Co's P&P channel, now broadcasting as People TV; Rauy-Tan-Tee Co's UDD channel, now called Peace TV; and Democracy News Network's DNN channel, which is now called 24 TV channel.
Of these seven channels, some were operating illegally and they are all now required to get a one-year licence.

Meanwhile, BNC News channel, which was previously known as Asia Update, has yet to be granted approval to go on air even though it, like the other seven channels, had already signed an MoU with the NBTC on Tuesday.

In the MoU, the operators had to accept NBTC's condition that their channel would be suspended without advance notice and their licences revoked immediately if they breach the conditions.

Asia Update, which has applied under a new company's name, has yet to get a licence, as the NBTC is still examining the details.

According to the NBTC, these seven channels will operate as pay-TV channels.

NBTC chairman Natee Sukonrat said the seven channels could start broadcasting as soon as they were ready, provided their new programming did not violate the NCPO's regulations.

Four other satellite channels, whose operations were suspended after the May 22 coup and have yet to approach NBTC for a new licence, are 4 channel, Hot TV, Rescue TV and Student and People Network for Reforming Thailand.