Court freezes Thai TV’s B1.97bn bank guarantee

The atmosphere is sombre at Thai TV’s 1177 news channel after the company failed to pay the second instalment of licence fees in May 2015. (Bangkok Post file photo by Thanarak Khunton)

The Supreme Administrative Court has issued an injunction to protect Thai TV’s bank guarantee of 1.97 billion baht until it learns why the company had to shut down its two digital channels two years ago.

The court issued the injunction on Thursday evening, approving the request by Thai TV.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) had demanded 1.74 billion baht from its bank guarantee for the remaining five instalments due on the licence auction fees for both channels, Thai TV and Loca, plus interest.

Thai TV’s guarantee was arranged with Bangkok Bank.

The company earlier accused NBTC of causing it huge losses by failing to effectively promote digital TV in place of analogue TV, as planned.

The Supreme Court ruled that until the court learned who should be held responsible for the termination of the TV services the NBTC had no right to demand the payment from the bank guarantee.

Loca was a channel for children’s programmes and Thai TV was for news. They went off the air on Dec 1, 2015. Both licences were awarded in early 2014 and were revoked on Feb 4, 2016. Thai TV failed to find a partner to shore up operations.

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