NBTC Watch: Advertisers warned to shun illegal OTT broadcasters

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ITEM: Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications will hit Facebook and YouTube hard – in the wallet – if they do not comply and register themselves as a broadcaster by July 22. The NBTC has summoned Thailand’s 50 largest companies by advertising budget and has ordered the Stock Exchange of Thailand to explain to its listed companies that advertising with unregistered OTT broadcasters will not be tolerated.

NBTC Broadcasting sub-committee chair Colonel Natee Sukonrat told the gathered representatives – which included all major car manufacturers, insurance companies, consumer goods and energy companies – that any OTT broadcaster that does not register with the government will be declared guilty of violating the 2008 Broadcasting and Television Business Act, which stipulates up to a $147,000 (5 million baht) fine and three years in jail for various offences.

More to the point, anyone advertising with them would be considered guilty of the aiding and abetting an illegal operator, and will be liable to face two thirds of the punishment under the act.

Natee added that to date, all of the smaller local OTT players have indicated that they are willing to be registered, but that Netflix, Google and YouTube have yet to indicate if they will comply.

ITEM: Line has clarified that its controversial Line Mobile operation with Dtac is not an MVNO but a branding exercise.

Earlier the NBTC threatened Dtac with revocation of its license for not having Line apply for an MVNO license, as well as its unorthodox registration system that relies simply on a selfie with an ID card. No clarification on the registration was given in the letter.

ITEM: NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasit has been awarded Thammasat University’s Institute of Continuing Education and Social Services Human Resource Excellence Award for his outstanding contributions to society in the public sector.

For the best CEO, the award again went to True CEO Supachai Chearavanont. The awards were handed out by Privy Councilor Palakorn Suwannarat.

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