Digital TV as web takes over: Staff reduced to cut costs

Digital TV as web takes over: Staff reduced to cut costs

A morning programme of Thairath TV.
A morning programme of Thairath TV.

Digital TV less profitable than expected due to changing viewing habits using phones, tablets & multiple screens.


Digital TV as web takes over: Staff reductions to cut costs

Nanat Suchiva

Most digital TV operators realise now that the huge amounts paid for digital TV licenses a few years ago were a big mistake.

Dreams of big profitable business opportunities have proven illusory as the web now provides many more viewing options compared to the days when people were limited to TV.

Apart from business difficulties, changing TV audience behaviour means TV watching takes forms that differ from traditional TV -- the so-called first screen -- that is losing popularity to mobile devices.

The younger generation prefers to watch TV on smartphones or tablets. Social media also vies for youthful attention spans.


This year, the local economy is expected to improve and big players in digital TV like Channel 7, Channel 3, Workpoint TV, Mono 29 and Channel 8 are tipped to perform better.

According to the digital TV regulator the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), 53% of the TV audience watched TV via digital TV system in December 2016, up from 39% in January of that year, and the momentum is set to continue this year.


Competition in the digital TV sector is expected to intensify in the second half of this year.

Channels with interesting content and clear product positioning will be in the best position to survive.

This is according to Mana Treelayapewat, dean of the School of Communication Arts at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.


According to Nielsen Thailand, the top five digital TV channels in April were:

1. BBTV's Channel 7,

2. BEC World's Channel 3,

3. Workpoint TV,

4. Mono 29 and...

5. Channel 8 by RS Plc.

Despite support from the Thai Rath newspaper, Thairath TV came in only 10th in the rankings of TV ratings nationwide.


For its part, the advertising sector anticipates a clear recovery this year, with a 10% rise in total ad spending to 144 billion baht, said Triluj Navamara, chairman of the Media Agency Association of Thailand.

Reasons include the improving economy and stepped-up investment in infrastructure projects.

Nielsen Thailand said ad spending on digital TV surged by 6.3% to 7.35 billion baht in the first four months of 2017.


More digital TV operators are likely to offer early retirement packages as they seek to cut costs, reduce staff and stay alive amid fierce competition.

According to media experts, the trend of staff reductions is getting clearer after Triple V Broadcast, the operator of Thairath TV, announced on Wednesday that it would offer early retirement packages to employees with service time of less than one year and up to three years.


The move marks the second round of staff redundancy in the broadcasting industry.

Last year, Nation Multimedia Group, which runs the digital channels Nation TV and Now 26, and Thai PBS offered early retirement packages to staff.

Thairath TV opted for voluntary redundancy because it wanted to slash operating costs after pouring a few billion baht into content production and equipment over the past three years.

"It's a big burden for digital TV channels to shoulder a high staff expense, as many of them hunted too much talent to work for them three years ago," Mr. Mana said.

"Now it's time to cut some to become leaner."

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  • according to (prep): as stated or reported by somebody/something - ตามคำบอกเล่า, ตามรายงาน
  • advertising: telling the public about a product or a service, political candidate, etc. in order to encourage people to buy, use or support it - การโฆษณา
  • agency (noun): a company or organisation that arranges for some service or workers to be provided to other companies and people - บริษัทตัวแทน, สำนักงานตัวแทน, หน่วยงานบริการ
  • amid: during the time when something else is happening - ท่ามกลาง
  • announce: to tell people something officially, especially about a decision, plans, etc - ประกาศ, แจ้ง, แจ้งให้ทราบ
  • anticipate: to guess or expect that something will happen - คาดการณ์ 
  • apart from (prep): except for - นอกเหนือจาก
  • association: an official group of people who have joined together for a particular purpose - สมาคม
  • attention: the interest or thought that you give to something you are doing, listening to or watching - ความสนใจ, ความตั้งใจ
  • attention span: the period of time a person can focus his/her mind on a single subject, event, situation - มีสมาธิ
  • audience: the group of people gathered in one place to watch or listen to a play, film, someone speaking, etc. - ผู้ชม
  • behaviour: the way that someone acts or behaves - พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว
  • broadcasting (noun): the sending out of a programme on television or radio - กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว
  • burden: a serious or difficult responsibility that you have to deal with - ภาระ
  • chairman: the person in charge of a committee, a company, etc - ประธาน
  • chamber of commerce: a group of local business people who work together to help business and trade in a particular town - หอการค้า
  • channel (noun): TV channel - ช่อง, ช่องโทรทัศน์
  • clearer: easier to see and understand ชัดเจน -
  • communication (noun): the activity or process of expressing ideas and feelings or of giving people information - การติดต่อสื่อสาร
  • competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน
  • content: the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with - เนื้อหา,สาระ
  • continue: happening or existing for a period of time without interruption - ซึ่งติดต่อกัน, ซึ่งต่อเนื่องกัน
  • cost: an amount of money that people need to pay for something - ค่า
  • dean: a senior official at a college or university, often the head of a faculty or department - คณบดี
  • despite (prep): used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it; used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ทั้ง ๆ ที่
  • device (noun): a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular job - อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ เครื่องจักร
  • difficulty (noun): a problem; a thing or situation that causes problems - ความยากลำบาก
  • digital: involving computers -
  • employee: someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation - ลูกจ้าง
  • equipment: the things that are needed for a particular purpose or activity - อุปกรณ์, เครื่องมือ
  • expect (verb): to think or believe that something will happen or that somebody will do something - คาด, คาดว่า, คาดการณ์
  • expenses: money spent in doing a particular job, or for a particular purpose - ค่าใช้จ่าย
  • expert: someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
  • fierce: very strong - รุนแรง, ดุเดือด
  • generation: a group of people in society who are born and live around the same time - รุ่น (คนรุ่นต่างๆ)
  • huge: very large - ใหญ่โต
  • infrastructure: a set of systems within a place or organisation that affect how well it operates, e.g., the telephone and transport systems in a country or the system of train tracks that a railway uses - สาธารณูปโภค
  • intensify (verb): to increase in degree or strength - ทำให้แรงขึ้น, ทำให้หนาแน่นขึ้น
  • investment (noun): the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน
  • license: an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต
  • limited: not much or enough; not very great in amount or extent - จำกัด
  • local (adjective): in this country (Thailand) -
  • mark (verb): to show that something is happening or happened - เป็นเครืองแสดง เป็นการเริ่มต้น
  • media: radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ
  • mistake (noun): something that you do that is not correct, an error - ความผิดพลาด, ข้อผิดพลาด,ความเข้าใจผิด
  • mobile: able to move or be moved around - ซึ่งเคลื่อนที่ได้ง่าย
  • mobile (technology): of devices, especially telecommunication devices, that can easily be moved around, e.g., mobile phones, tablets, notebook computers - อุปกรณ์ซึ่งเคลื่อนที่ได้ง่าย
  • momentum: progress or development that is becoming faster or stronger - แรงผลักดัน
  • National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC): the independent government agency which oversees and regulates the Thai telecoms and broadcasting industry - สำนักงานคณะกรรมการกิจการกระจายเสียง กิจการโทรทัศน์และกิจการโทรคมนาคมแห่งชาติ
  • nationwide: throughout a whole country - ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
  • operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
  • opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส
  • option: choice - ทางเลือก
  • package: many goods or services sold together in one "package" -
  • perform (verb): to do what is required - ปฏิบัติหน้าที่
  • popularity: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
  • position (noun): the place where somebody/something is located - ตำแหน่ง, สถานที่
  • prefer: to like or want more than anyone or anything else - ชอบมากกว่า
  • production: a film/movie, a play or a broadcast that is prepared for the public; the act of preparing a film or a play, etc - ละครหรือภาพยนตร์ที่มีคนจำนวนมากร้องเพลง/เต้นรำ
  • profitable: able to earn money and expenses are subtracted - ให้ผลกำไร,ได้ผลประโยชน์
  • project: a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ
  • provide: to give someone/ something that they want or need - จัดหาให้, จัดเตรียมไว้ให้
  • rankings (noun): the position of somebody/something on a scale that shows how good or important they are in relation to other similar people or things, especially in sport - อันดับ
  • ratings (noun): a measure of the a TV show's popularity and how large its audience is -
  • realise (verb): to know about - ตระหนัก  รู้
  • reason (noun): why something happened or exists - เหตุผล
  • recovery (noun): the process of becoming normal and healthy again - การฟื้นตัว, การฟื้นฟู
  • reduce: to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc - ลดลง
  • redundancy (noun): the situation when somebody has to leave their job because there is no more work available for them - การถูกปลดออกจากงาน
  • retirement (noun): the time when you stop working, especially because of old age - เกษียณอายุ, การอำลาวงการ
  • round: one of a series of events, activities, etc. - รอบ
  • screen (noun): a display on a phone, computer, etc. that shows information -
  • sector: a part of a country’s economy or business activity - ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ
  • set to (verb): to make something happen, or to make someone do something; expected to happen - ทำให้เกิดขึ้น; คาดว่าจะเกิดขึ้น
  • set to: ready to do something - พร้อม
  • shoulder: to deal with or accept something difficult - แบกรับภาระ หรือสถานการณ์
  • situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์
  • slash: (of a budget, price, etc.) to cut, especially by a large amount - ตัด
  • so-called: said to be something but which may not be true - ที่เป็นที่รู้กัน (ซึ่งบางครั้งอาจไม่เป็นจริงก็ได้)
  • social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
  • staff: workers employed by a person or organisation considered as a group - คณะผู้ทำงาน, คนงาน
  • stepped-up: to increase; to cause to get stronger - ทำให้เข้มข้นขึ้น
  • support (noun): giving help, encouragement or sympathy to somebody - การสนับสนุน, การเป็นกำลังใจ
  • surge: a sudden increase in something - การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
  • survive: to continue to exist - รอดพ้น
  • tablet: a small light-weight computer device shaped like a book; e.g, iPad, Galaxy Tab, etc. -
  • talent: actors, musicians and other performers -
  • tipped to: experts think that the person will become .. -
  • traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา
  • trend: a gradual change or development that produces a particular result   - ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม
  • viewing: television viewing; watching television -
  • voluntary: an action that is done because you choose to do it and not because you have to - ด้วยความสมัครใจ
  • vying (from the verb vie): to compete strongly - ลงแข่งขัน, ลงชิง
  • vying for: competing with other people to achieve or obtain something - แข่งขันเพื่อ
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