NBTC urges wayward OTT ban

NBTC urges wayward OTT ban

Criminal act threat to defiant agencies

Natee: Regulatory framework by law
Natee: Regulatory framework by law

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has pushed media agencies to boycott over-the-top (OTT) operators that fail to register their companies under the OTT regulatory framework by July 22.

Yesterday, the regulator asked top advertising agencies to acknowledge the OTT service regulatory framework. Tomorrow, it will ask the 50 top advertising spenders to do so as well.

Col Natee Sukolrat, chairman of the subcommittee working on the NBTC's OTT regulatory framework, said advertising agencies have agreed not to support non-compliant OTT platform operators.

The NBTC will govern OTT operators under the Broadcasting Business Act and denounce those who fail to comply with the regulator. Media agencies who support non-compliant OTT operators will be considered co-offenders, said Col Natee.

"Failing to register may be considered a criminal act, and media agencies who abet this behaviour will be guilty as well," said Col Natee.

He said Thailand's OTT regulatory framework is nothing new. Vietnamese and Indonesian operators have been complying with similar laws in their respective countries.

"I believe the NBTC's regulatory framework is fully supported by the law," said Col Natee.

Facebook, YouTube and Netflix have yet to register with the regulatory framework. The NBTC has successfully reached out to Netflix, which is expected to register in July.

But Facebook and YouTube are still no shows, he said.

"While I am concerned about YouTube and Facebook, I believe those firms will register before the deadline. They are international firms with high standards," said Col Natee.

Triluj Navamarat, chairman of the Media Agency Association of Thailand (MAAT), also said that Facebook and YouTube would register before the deadline.

MAAT and the Digital Advertising Association Thailand (DAAT) will work closely to advise brands and advertisers in regards to the NBTC guidelines, he said.

Mr Triluj said YouTube and Facebook are Thailand's largest OTT platforms, which is why they are required to register. YouTube and Facebook are influential in the media industry as their ad spending accounts for over 45% of the 120 billion baht spent on digital ads, according to DAAT.

OTT businesses in Thailand can be divided into four categories: Independent OTT operators, Pay TV operators who broadcast using OTT platforms, telecom operators who provide OTT services, and digital TV channels that broadcast their programmes using OTT platforms.

Independent OTT operators include domestic operators like Hollywood HDTV, Doonee and PrimeTime, as well as foreign operators like YouTube, Facebook, Line TV and Netflix.

Pay TV operators that broadcast via OTT platforms include PSI and TrueVisions Anywhere. AIS Play is a telecom operator that broadcasts on an OTT platform.

Digital TV channels that broadcast on OTT platforms include Channel 3, Mono, Channel 7, Workpoint and Channel 8.

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