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MCOT set to be first Thai HD broadcaster

Wednesday 17 Aug 2011
Thailand’s MCOT Plc, the listed broadcaster of Modernine TV, has rented a new K-Band satellite transponder to provide up to 10 satellite television channels in both standard and high-definition (HD) video, the Bangkok Post reports.

MCOT President Tanawat Wansom said the company had spent 150 million baht (US$5 million) renting the K-Band system transponder since the middle of the year to enhance its new media business, in addition to the C-Band transponder it has been using.

Via the new transponder, MCOT plans to broadcast its own channels in HD and will also rent out space on its satellite to other broadcasters.

“Around half of Thai households have already acquired K-Band satellite dishes,” said Mr Tanawat. “However, there is still no broadcaster that offers HD channels. This is a market opportunity for us.

“MCOT will begin airing satellite HD channels in the current third quarter. The number of total channels in the transponder … could range from six channels in HD to more than 10 channels in a hybrid standard and HD system.”

MCOT said second-quarter revenue rose 18 percent compared with the same period last year to 1.52 billion baht (US$50.8 million), while net profit jumped 32 percent to 504 million baht (US$16.86 million) during the period.

MCOT plans to increase airtime fees in October in line with inflation. The company said it would raise the fee again early next year.