This chapter includes the following articles.
A long-awaited switch to digital TV and the expansion of the numbers of TV channels is taking place, bringing with it greater openness and competition within the nation’s leading media platform. Thailand also continues to develop its production side, with demand for content likely to surge as the new channels come on air, drawing on the country’s strong tradition in film and IT. Four of the six free-to-air channels are owned and operated by state bodies. The other two, which are private channels, typically draw the highest viewing figures. With frequencies assigned to the existing six channels, there has been no space left for new entrants, and broadcasters have had to move into the cable and satellite space. This will change with the implementation of the digital master plan. There is likely to be some consolidation as the number of channels expands, while those outfits with deeper pockets are likely to survive longer in an increasingly competitive environment. However, media is changing, too, and becoming more diversified and less state controlled, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for foreign investors.