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Thailand’s Parliament TV to be the first digital public broadcaster

Parliament will likely become the country’s first broadcaster of public digital terrestrial TV, according to the head of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s broadcasting committee.

According to The Nation, Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the panel, said yesterday that it had approved in principle setting up a focus group on the draft information memorandum (IM) inviting potential broadcaster to participate in the “beauty contest” for Category 3 of the upcoming public TV system.

This category involves government relations and promotion of parliamentary democracy.

He believes that Parliament will be the country’s first public broadcaster to use the digital terrestrial TV platform because Parliament House already operates the “Parliament TV” satellite channel to televise key sessions of the National Assembly.

Parliament’s TV station had earmarked Bt1 billion for a four-year investment in a new public digital-TV channel. The sum would be used for content development and high-definition technology both at the station’s current offices in the Parliament compound and at its facilities in the new Parliament building.

“Besides televising the National Assembly and key meetings with a combined 1,000 hours of coverage a year, the TV station will produce its own programming. Our model is the BBC Parliament channel,” said Taweekiat Chaovalitthawil, deputy secretary-general of the Secretariat of the House of Representatives.

The Parliament TV channel is expected to take to the airwaves by October.