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Grammy digital TV strategy

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Thailand's largest entertainment company is betting everything on digital television. Selling non-core businesses & doing without profit & stock dividends for now. 

Click button to listen to Grammy TV Strategy download 

Do touch that dial 

GMM Grammy expects digital TV will transform the company from a mere airtime renter and content provider into an owner of mass media.
3/06/2013
Krissana Parnsoonthorn

Paiboon Damrongchaitham, the chairman of GMM Grammy Plc, the country's largest entertainment company, carries a big smile on his face these days, as the last piece will soon be placed in his business jigsaw puzzle.

He has been waiting 15 years for digital TV. Grammy will bid for three digital TV licences in September or October and expects to pay as much as 4 billion baht.

Digital TV will help transform Grammy from a mere airtime renter and content provider into an owner of mass media. And the new operation will support its existing satellite- and pay-TV business.

"We're confident our 30 years of experience and skills in the entertainment business, from upstream to downstream, will help us enter digital TV. We have the biggest content library in Thailand and intend to make full use of it," said Mr Paiboon.

Grammy's strategic direction over the next three years is gearing towards TV, driving annual revenue to 20 billion baht in 2015 from nearly 12 billion last year.

The company's net profit margin will double or more, to 30-40% in 2016 from 10-15% last year. Its new business unit will oversee TV home shopping (the O Shopping Network), satellite TV and digital TV, while the existing core business of music and related activities such as films, live entertainment, events and digital media will be retained.

The company is selling off its non-core businesses to support the digital-TV bidding. Sold already is its 22.12% stake in Matichon Plc for 470 million baht, while its 34.93% holding in Post Publishing Plc will soon go

Mr Paiboon said the three digital TV channels Grammy is interested in are in the categories of children's programming, high definition (HD) and variety (in standard definition).

It has obtained partners for the children's and variety channels and plans to operate HD itself.

Mr Paiboon said digital TV is seen as very attractive since the existing free channels together account for 60% of total ad spending of 100 billion baht on all media outlets. Having 24 digital TV channels means TV ad spending will grow enormously. 

Grammy began its satellite-TV operation three or four years ago and now has 10 channels. Later, it sold satellite-TV signal receivers to create its own platform for the Euro 2012 football tournament a year ago.

Now, its GMM Z satellite-TV unit is promoting pay services in addition to set-top boxes, claiming its packages are widely affordable for viewers at 1,999 and 2,999 baht a year.

Fahmai Damrongchaitham, Mr Paiboon's eldest son and GMM Z's chief operating officer, said pay TV has vast opportunities since only a few operators are in the market.

The two newcomers Cable Thai Holding and GMM Z are competing on lower prices, while the market leader TrueVisions offers more expensive packages.

Mr Fahmai said only 10% of the 22 million Thai households subscribe to pay TV. That proportion could grow to half of all households and become like a basic public utility such as electricity or water.

Grammy has not paid a dividend to shareholders for two years due to its big investment in satellite TV.

Last year, the company posted a net loss of 347 million baht, the first time in 30 years it fell into the red.

But Mr Paiboon is optimistic the satellite- and pay-TV operation will break even next year and turn a profit in 2015.

Grammy will rent six more transponders of the Thaicom 6 satellite in August and start selling its content to other operators in the fourth quarter.

"My focus now is on TV, but I still want my own newspaper in the future. I think I can do it: operating a news agency after digital TV," Mr Paiboon said with a smile.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Do touch that dial, GMM Grammy expects digital TV will transform the company from a mere airtime renter and contentprovider into an owner of mass media, 3/06/2013,  Krissana Parnsoonthorn, link


TV Industry Vocabulary

digital TV - (See Wikipedia)
digital - using computer technology, storage and formats for images and data, using bits and bytes to send information

mass media - newspapers or TV that large numbers of people read or watch
mass - large numbers จำนวนมหาศาล
media - radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group สื่อ

airtime - a period of time during a TV show being broadcast เวลาออกอากาศ
mere
- not large or important เพียงเท่านั้น
a mere airtime renter

content
- the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with เนื้อหา,สาระ
content provider
content library

dial - the round thing on an old TV that you turn to select a channel 
do touch that dial

transform - to change from one form into another เปลี่ยนไปสู่อีกสิ่งหนึ่ง
transform the company

GMM Grammy expects digital TV will transform the company from a mere airtime renter and content provider into an owner of mass media.

jigsaw puzzle

Paiboon Damrongchaitham, the chairman of GMM Grammy Plc, the country's largest entertainment company, carries a big smile on his face these days, as the last piece will soon be placed in his business jigsaw puzzle.

bid - an offer to buy something at a specific price ยื่นเสนอราคา
bid for digital TV licences

He has been waiting 15 years for digital TV. Grammy will bid for three digital TV licences in September or October and expects to pay as much as 4 billion baht.

airtime - TV or radio broadcasting time, time during which content is sent through the "airwaves" or radiowaves to TVs in people's homes 
airtime renter

support - help สนับสนุน
the new operation will support its existing satellite- and pay-TV business

Digital TV will help transform Grammy from a mere airtime renter and content provider into an owner of mass media. And the new operation will support its existing satellite- and pay-TV business.

confident - being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
we are confident that .....

skills
- a type of work or task requiring special training and knowledge ทักษะ ความสามารถเฉพาะทาง
upstream - at an early stage in the process of producing a product for sale (early in the supply chain)
downstream - at an late stage in the process of producing a product for sale (late in the supply chain)
skills in the entertainment business, from upstream to downstream

intend - to plan to do; to want to happen ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น, วางแผนไว้
we intend to make full use of our content library

"We're confident our 30 years of experience and skills in the entertainment business, from upstream to downstream, will help us enter digital TV. We have the biggest content library in Thailand and intend to make full use of it," said Mr Paiboon.

strategic - done with a special plan to achieve long term goals
strategic direction
gearing towards TV


annual - happening once a year ประจำปี
revenue - income from taxes or business activities รายได้
annual revenue

driving annual revenue to 20 billion baht

Grammy's strategic direction over the next three years is gearing towards TV, driving annual revenue to 20 billion baht in 2015 from nearly 12 billion last year.

profit - money that you make from selling goods and services after all your costs have been paid กำไร
margin - the amount by which a competition or election is won
profit margin

double - to become twice as big, twice as much or twice as many เพิ่มเป็นสองเท่า
the company's net profit margin will double

oversee - manage, check to see if project is going ok จัดการ ดูแล to watch or organise a job or an activity to make certain that it is being done correctly คุมงาน,ควบคุม

the new business unit will oversee TV home shopping (the O Shopping Network), satellite TV and digital TV

core - the most important and central part แก่น สิ่งที่สำคัญที่สุด the most important or most basic part of something ส่วนสำคัญ
core business - one the most important businesses that a company does

retain - keep
the company will retain the existing core business of music and related activities

The company's net profit margin will double or more, to 30-40% in 2016 from 10-15% last year. Its new business unit will oversee TV home shopping (the O Shopping Network), satellite TV and digital TV, while the existing core business of music and related activities such as films, live entertainment, events and digital media will be retained.

bidding - making an offer in an auction (here trying to offer to do project for lowest cost and thus win contract)
stake - a share or a financial involvement in something such as a business, owning part of something

The company is selling off its non-core businesses to support the digital-TV bidding. Sold already is its 22.12% stake in Matichon Plc for 470 million baht, while its 34.93% holding in Post Publishing Plc will soon go

children's programming
variety - many different types of things ความหลากหลาย
 
definition - how detailed the picture is (more pixels means higher definition) 
high definition (HD) - very detailed picture and TV image
standard definition -
the ordinary usual TV picture

Mr Paiboon said the three digital TV channels Grammy is interested in are in the categories of children's programming, high definition (HD) and variety (in standard definition).

partners - the companies owning part of the joint venture หุ้นส่วน

It has obtained partners for the children's and variety channels and plans to operate HD itself.

attractive - worth having or doing; pleasant to look at น่าสนใจ
digital TV is seen as very attractive

outlets
- ทางออก
media outlets

Mr Paiboon said digital TV is seen as very attractive since the existing free channels together account for 60% of total ad spending of 100 billion baht on all media outlets. Having 24 digital TV channels means TV ad spending will grow enormously. 

tournament - a competition for teams or single players in which a series of games is played, and the winners of each game play against each other until only one winner is left การแข่งขัน
the Euro 2012 football tournament

satellite-TV signal receivers
platform - a system for supporting some activity (example: an operating system platform for a computer) 

create its own platform for the Euro 2012 football tournament a year ago

Grammy began its satellite-TV operation three or four years ago and now has 10 channels. Later, it sold satellite-TV signal receivers to create its own platform for the Euro 2012 football tournament a year ago.

services - บริการต่างๆ 
pay
services

set-top boxes - the box that that you select TV channels from (that comes with satelite or cable TV)

affordable - not expensive ไม่แพง
package - a set of goods and services that are sold together as one product for one price
affordable packages

claim -
to say something is true without proving it
claiming its packages are widely affordable for viewers

Now, its GMM Z satellite-TV unit is promoting pay services in addition to set-top boxes, claiming its packages are widely affordable for viewers at 1,999 and 2,999 baht a year.

vast - very large, of great size กว้างใหญ่, มหาศาล มหึมา
opportunities - situations in which it is possible to do what you want or need to do
vast opportunities - many good business situations or possibilities

operators - companies doing some kind of business

Fahmai Damrongchaitham, Mr Paiboon's eldest son and GMM Z's chief operating officer, said pay TV has vast opportunities since only a few operators are in the market.

newcomers - new in doing this sort of activity ผู้ที่มาใหม่ สมาชิกใหม่

The two newcomers Cable Thai Holding and GMM Z are competing on lower prices, while the market leader TrueVisions offers more expensive packages.

households - families or groups of people living together (economics treats this as a unit that makes decisions)
subscribe -
to pay to receive content such as TV or newspaper
proportion - percentage
public utility - some basic service like electricity or water (usually provided by the government or a large monopoly)

Mr Fahmai said only 10% of the 22 million Thai households subscribe to pay TV. That proportion could grow to half of all households and become like a basic public utility such as electricity or water.

dividend - the regular annual payment from a company's profits to the investors who hold the company's stock
shareholders - people who own the company's stock shares  
paid a dividend to shareholders

investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)
big investment in satellite TV

Grammy has not paid a dividend to shareholders for two years due to its big investment in satellite TV.

in the red - losing money
fall in the red

Last year, the company posted a net loss of 347 million baht, the first time in 30 years it fell into the red.

optimistic - expecting good things to happen or to be successful โดยคาดหวังสิ่งที่ดี, มองโลกในแง่ดี  feel that the future will be good มีทัศนคติที่ดี มองเหตุการณ์อย่างมีหวัง
break even - no profit or loss, make zero money
turn a profit - make a profit, earn money not lose money

But Mr Paiboon is optimistic the satellite- and pay-TV operation will break even next year and turn a profit in 2015.

rent - to pay money for the use of something for a period of time เช่า
transponders - equipment used to broadcast TV and radio (See Wikipedia) (
quarter - one or more people who provide help, information or a particular reaction to something but who are not usually named
fourth quarter - the last three months of the year on the calendar used by businesses for accounting and financial reporting

Grammy will rent six more transponders of the Thaicom 6 satellite in August and start selling its content to other operators in the fourth quarter.

focus - the main thing you are concerned with or working on ให้ความสำคัญ

"My focus now is on TV, but I still want my own newspaper in the future. I think I can do it: operating a news agency after digital TV," Mr Paiboon said with a smile.

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