Thai PBS (Thai Public Broadcasting Service) is Thailand’s first public broadcaster. Officially launched on 15 January 2008, Thai PBS is financed with taxes on tobacco and alcohol amounting to around 1.7 to 1.8 billion baht (US$54 million) a year.
Although it relies on tax revenue, Thai PBS is an independent broadcaster set up under the Thai Public Broadcasting Service Act. Even though the bill was introduced by the military-installed legislative assembly in late 2007, Thai PBS can in no way be classified as a legacy of a military dictatorship.
The yearning for public media in Thailand had been around for years but was strongly resisted by politicians and bureaucrats. Ironically, the birth of Thai PBS was largely hailed as one of the most “democratic” undertakings in the aftermath of the coup in September 2006. Thai PBS currently broadcasts 18 hours of news, current affairs, educational and entertainment programmes.
Thai PBS is administered by a nine-member Board of Governors elected through an independent process. As a public broadcaster, Thai PBS has a mission to inform, educate and entertain. It strives for excellence in news reporting and programming, with public interest at its heart.
Thai PBS broadcasts in the Thai language on UHF using Thaicom-2 satellite. It currently has about 900 staff.