Cable Thai Holding Plc (CTH) has raised its investment budget by 25% to 25 billion baht after securing the broadcasting rights for the English Premier League (EPL) in the three seasons from 2013-15.
Wichai Thongtang (second from left), chairman of CTH, shakes hands with Deja Tulananda, vice-chairman of Bangkok Bank, while Vachara Vacharaphol (left), vice-chairman of CTH, and Chatri Sophonpanich, chairman of Bangkok Bank, look on.
The extra money will be used to install a fibre-optic network nationwide, buy more content and invest in new broadcast technology.
Before obtaining the EPL rights, CTH had planned to spend 20 billion baht to bolster its cable network from 2012-14.
But yesterday, CTH signed an agreement with Bangkok Bank (BBL) for a 14-billion-baht loan to finance the acquisition of EPL rights.
Of that, 10 billion baht will be used to acquire EPL content and the rest to upgrade CTH's fibre-optic network.
CTH chairman Wichai Thongtang said the loan will have a more than three-year repayment period, given that the EPL seasons will run until mid-2016.
Apart from extending the loans BBL will serve as a financial consultant to look after financial liquidity for CTH.
"This is just the beginning of our cooperation. We hope BBL will help us more by providing payment counter services for CTH customers," he said.
"It will be convenient for CTH customers, as BBL has 1,600 branches nationwide."
CTH hopes its presence will help improve the standard of cable TV service in Thailand.
Currently, there are about 300 local cable TV operators nationwide.
CTH expects to make a profit this year. It now has 3.5 million household customers, and these existing customers will be given the basic package for 300 baht a month.
Chief executive Kittsanan Ngamphathipong said the team is introducing new packages for new customers.
"We have four, with the basic one priced at 399 baht a month. The basic package plus the 380 EPL matches will come to less than 1,000 baht a month and we'll soon set a price for internet broadband, which we'll introduce near the end of the year," he said.
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Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn & Somruedi Banchongduang