Grammy gears up for satellites

Grammy gears up for satellites

The rising popularity of cable and digital-satellite TV is driving demand for satellite transponders provided by Thaicom Plc (THCOM), the country's sole satellite service provider.

Senior vice-president Makin Petplai, said pay-TV households in Thailand will number 6 million by 2016, almost triple the current 2.2 million.

Major pay-TV operators are gearing up for battle in the highly competitive market.

Mr Makin said GMM Z, the satellite-TV unit of GMM Grammy (GRAMMY), has rented six transponders of the Thaicom 6 satellite to provide an additional 120 channels, while CTH has rented four transponders.

The Thaicom 6 satellite will be launched into orbit at 78.5 degrees East in November, providing nine transponders for KU-band satellite dishes and 24 for C band.

Thaicom has so far sold 66% of Thaicom 6's 33 transponders and expects to reach 80% before the launch.

Thaicom 7 will be launched next year.

Fahmai Damrongchaitham, GMM Z's chief operating officer, expressed confidence the company is gaining momentum in the marketplace thanks to its having the highest number of TV channels, from Fox International Channels to local TV stations.

The company has also won the rights to broadcast Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 football matches.

"We're gearing up to acquire more content and transponders to increase the number of our channels," said Mr Fahmai.

GMM Z is expanding its service to mobile platforms in a partnership with Advanced Info Service.

GMM Grammy posted a reviewed second-quarter net loss of 216 million baht compared with a net profit of 54.9 million in the same period last year.

The reviewed first-half net loss was 441 million baht compared with a net profit of 207 million.

Shares of THCOM closed yesterday on the SET at 35.50 baht, up 1.25 baht, in trade worth 365 million baht.

GRAMMY closed at 16 baht, up 60 satang, in trade worth 11.7 million baht.

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