Spring News eyes partnership

Xinhua keen to invest in digital TV project

Spring News Corporation, a satellite TV unit of Solution Corner (1988) Plc (SLC), is keen to partner with China's Xinhua news agency over content and investment in digital TV.

Meanwhile, SLC chief executive Arak Ratboriharn has denied speculation that GMM Grammy might take over Spring News, pledging that SLC will not sell its satellite TV business to anybody as it has high potential to drive its growth.

"We must receive a licence for operating a digital TV news channel," said Mr Arak.

SLC's investment for digital TV is divided into two phases.

In the first phase, SLC has set aside at least 1 billion baht for bidding, of which 170 million will come from its cash flow and 800 million from its capital-increase programme.

SLC plans to offer 1.5 billion new common shares at 0.535 baht each through a private placement within one year. Foreign investors are interested in buying shares and becoming partners to reinforce its TV operation.

In the second phase, Spring News is eyeing to co-invest with Xinhua, a registered media company on the Hang Seng stock market in Hong Kong. Xinhua is interested in investing with Spring News in the digital TV project.

Spring News will partner Xinhua for a content exchange that will enhance its programmes related to economics in Asia. This collaboration will start in April or May.

"We see a brighter future for Spring News as it will make profits in the second or third quarter of this year after having losses for three years," Mr Arak said.

Its advertising rate is about 10,000 baht per minute on average.

Mr Arak expects that when its satellite TV shifts to a digital TV platform, the ad rate will rise to at least 50,000 baht per minute.

Spring News will grow revenue by 35% to 170 million baht this year from 135 million baht in 2012.

Its revenue contribution to SLC will be 50% of the total.

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Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn