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[November 28, 2012]
RS optimistic about satellite TV potential
Nov 29, 2012 (Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- RS Plc, the country's No.2 entertainment company, will raise investment in its satellite TV unit by 30-40% next year to accommodate vast potential in the industry.
Next year revenue from satellite TV business will double from the 550 million baht expected this year, which represents 40% of total revenue, up from 20% this year, said chief operating officer Pornpan Techarungchaikul.
"The satellite TV business has expanded enormously this year, and the momentum will continue next year, with many new developments including digital TV licences being awarded," she said.
Satellite and cable TV penetration has risen to about 70% of Thai households, as there are many new players entering the market. She believes this competition is creating a lot of potential.
Advertisements on satellite and cable TV will share 7% of total media spending worth 60 billion baht in the TV industry this year, rising to 10-15% next year.
RS, which started its satellite TV business in 2010, now has five channels: Sabaidee TV, Channel 8, You Channel, RS Sport La Liga and Yaak TV.
This year it invested 300 million baht to improve content on two channels _ 150 million baht for Channel 8, a 24-hour variety channel after it recorded rapid ratings growth, and 150 million on upgrading Yaak TV and relaunching it as Star Max Channel yesterday. Star Max will broadcast on both C and KU bands as well as cable, said Pattira Palawatvichai, the channel's managing director.
"Advertisers are interested in satellite TV channels if the ratings are good, and their airtime rates are much lower than on free TV," said Ms Pornpan.That gap means satellite TV has a lot of potential to attract advertisers.
For example, ads per rating on RS are about 20,000 baht per minute for prime-time soap operas, while the average rate for Channels 3 and 7 is 50,000 baht per minute.
RS is interested in bidding for digital TV licences in the future. However, it wants to see clearer details about licence fees, network investment, and the penetration target set by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
By the middle of next year, RS will start pre-paid TV service for the Spanish La Liga football league from 100 baht a month. It has already received a pay-TV licence from the NBTC.
Sales of its Sunbox set-top boxes are expected to reach 300,000 by year-end, below its target of 500,000, but RS just wants to build its platform first, said Ms Pornpan.
RS shares closed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday at 5.50 baht, up 15 satang, in trade worth 8.67 million baht.
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