Olympics to air for everyone

Olympics to air for everyone

The country's Olympics broadcast rights holder insists all viewers will be able to watch the games this month, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said yesterday.

Television Pool of Thailand, or TV Pool, says it will broadcast all copyrighted programmes from London to all viewers regardless of their reception platforms, NBTC's broadcasting committee chairman Natee Sukonrat said after meeting TV Pool chairman Lt Gen Sunthorn Sophonsiri.

The broadcasting committee yesterday also approved a draft of "must-carry" rules after more than three months of study.

The rules are intended to ensure the availability of free-TV programmes for all viewers using different signal reception platforms in light of broadcast restrictions that came into play during the Euro 2012 football tournament.

Under the must-carry rules, free-TV broadcasters must transmit all their content through all broadcast platforms in the country without any conditions.

Companies holding broadcast rights such as those for Euro 2012 must be aware of the must-carry rules before striking any deals with free-TV operators, Col Natee said.

The new rules follow complaints by True Visions subscribers that they could not watch live Euro 2012 soccer matches carried on free-TV channels.

The NBTC will submit draft must-carry rules to its board on July 18. They are expected to come into effect before the Games start on July 27.

However, the rules will not be applied to broadcasts on the internet or other new media as content could end up being transmitted abroad.

The NBTC's broadcasting committee yesterday also approved drafts for an infrastructure licence, network provider licence and service providing licence for digital TV.

The country's TV roadmap calls for the shifting of all analogue services to a digital platform within 10 years.

Stations using the analogue system will gradually switch from January 2015, with 80% of urban households expected to switch in five years, and all households expected to switch in 10 years.

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