The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is pushing for cooperation between South Korean broadcasters and Thai television operators to elevate the potential of Thai TV programmes in the long term and promote soft power abroad.
Pirongrong Ramasoota, an NBTC board member, said the agency had held talks with Content Wavve, the leading over-the-top operator in South Korea, about possible cooperation to enhance the Thai TV business.
Content Wavve is a joint venture between SK Telecom and three South Korean terrestrial broadcasters, namely KBS, MBC and SBS. The firm operates the "Wavve" online streaming platform, which was launched in September 2019.
On Jan 17, 2023, Content Wavve's representatives are scheduled to participate in a seminar in Thailand titled "Korean media landscape and the opportunities for Thai-Korean co-production", which would stimulate business partnerships between Thai and South Korean media operators.
The seminar targets 80 stakeholders in Thailand, including TV operators, content providers, media academics, and students.
The event is expected to support business matching, co-production and training between Thai and South Korean media operators.
Ms Pirongrong says Korea can help elevate Thai TV programmes.
"Thai TV production has the potential to develop and the content can serve as soft power for Thai culture to the global audience. The cooperation would address this target," said Ms Pirongrong.
She said the NBTC will formulate a regulation to develop the radio and TV broadcasting business in line with Section 52 of the broadcasting business act, which stipulates that the NBTC board may consider financial support from the NBTC fund for programmes deemed beneficial to society or operators who follow through on measures that promote and protect the rights of the disabled or the underprivileged.
The draft regulation is expected to be completed in early 2023 before being brought to public hearing. Interested entrepreneurs are likely to be able to seek support from June 2023, said Ms Pirongrong.
The NBTC fund has about 200 million baht and the NBTC board can authorise an additional budget to support these programmes, she said.
There are three TV programme categories which can be supported by the fund: youth and kids; diversity promotion; and those which have co-production with international operators.
In 2023, the NBTC will pursue credit scoring and social credit development to support those with quality content and watch out for any illicit content, said Ms Pirongrong.
Quality ratings will be used to examine TV content in terms of quality, not quantity, she said.
The NBTC is studying the adoption of machine learning to monitor content that includes violence, sexual harassment, offensive words or bullying, said Ms Pirongrong. The content monitoring would be carried out on a random basis, she said.
"Social credit and quality ratings would help TV programmes and channels to benefit from advertising and receive support from organisations, particularly state agencies," said Ms Pirongrong.