Wednesday, May 24, 2006


China keen to lease MCOT radio time for tourists

Bangkok -- Under the leadership of Mingkwan Sangsuwan, the Mass Communications Organisation of Thailand (MCOT PLC) has been outward looking and signed a number of MoU's with overseas broadcaster organisations. These include CNN from the US, BBC from the UK, TVS from France, DW from Germany, RAI TV from Italy, NHK from Japan and just recently South Korea's KBS.

The latest MoU is with China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) - China's Broadcasting Ministry. The deal would be for SARFT's China Radio International to broker airtime on one of MCOT's 62 radio stations. The programs in Chinese would target resident Chinese and tourists in Thailand.

This is a possible contentious issue as the Thai Finance Ministry holds 80 per cent of MCOT's shares. (MCOT is a listed company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand).

SARFT is the Chinese government's arm for control of all broadcasting channels. Organisations under its responsibility include CCTV's television channels, China Radio International and the Xinhua News Agency.

It has to be said that the MCOT and SARFT also entered into a memorandum of understanding on the exchange of TV and radio programs. Last year MCOT and CCTV exchanged documentary and other infotainment TV programming/content.

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