State-owned public broadcaster MCOT Plc has set out new radio management strategies, ranging from refreshing programmes to simulcasting through both traditional and digital platforms, while striving to become a communication solutions provider.
The strategies were spelled out after the firm secured 47 radio frequencies allotted across the country during an auction of spectrum bands used for FM broadcasting held on Monday.
MCOT participated in the bidding for 55 of the 71 frequencies allocated for the auction.
The firm won six frequencies allocated for Bangkok and another 41 allotted for provinces.
MCOT president Kasemsarn Chotchakornpant pointed out by joining the bid, the company took into account profitability prospects, network strengths and social responsibility in delivering accurate and reliable content to the public.
More than 500 million baht was set aside for the auction, he said, noting the sum was drawn from working capital and a loan.
Its failure to secure eight frequencies will have no impact on its operation as it can find other ways to broadcast to targeted areas.
MCOT can air signal from adjacent stations, work with other network partners and broadcast through digital platforms, Mr Kasemsarn said.
Last year TV business contributed 28% of the firm's revenue, followed by radio services at 26%, broadcasting networks (MUX) at 24% and online and new business at 8%.
By 2024, digital and online business is expected to contribute 22% of MCOT's revenue, he said.
"The radio business landscape has been changing gradually for years due to the disruption of over-the-top [OTT] platforms and changing customer behaviour," Mr Kasemsarn said.
The OTT market in Thailand is estimated to be worth 10 billion baht.
"We aim to synchronise traditional radio services, digital platforms and TV business together under a convergence concept to cash in on the new economy," he said.
Mr Kasemsarn said business strategies for operators in the market do not vary much, but different results would be driven by speed of operations to serve demand and management patterns.
Regarding MCOT's vision in 2022, he said the firm will serve as the provider of trusted news and smart entertainment, reaffirming its image of delivering reliable, timely, accurate and verifiable content.
MCOT also plans to launch communication solutions and services through collaboration with partners, said Mr Kasemsarn.
Backed by the firm's reinforcement, refreshment and refinement strategies, he said, its existing business will be strengthened through programmes with creative, smart and friendly content while existing assets will be optimised.
Mr Kasemsarn said 9 MCOT HD digital TV will be filled with trusted content, while news and entertainment programmes will be improved.
Air time for news programmes will be raised to 80 hours per week, up from 42 hours now, while smart entertainment content is expected to drive MCOT's competition in the digital TV field.