Thu, Jul 02, 2009 - Page 2 News List

NCC mulling five new TV licenses for terrestrial stations

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

National Communications Commission (NCC) spokesman Lee Ta-sung (李大嵩) said yesterday that the commission would consider the impact on the media market when issuing operation licenses for terrestrial TV services.

A story in yesterday’s Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) said the Ministry of Transportation and Communications was planning to release a maximum of five terrestrial TV licenses.

The ministry is in charge of the planning and use of the nation’s radio spectrum. The commission issues the operational licenses and sets the issuing rules.

The story said the ministry wants to add five terrestrial TV stations to the five that already exist. If the digital TV service is available by then, the 10 terrestrial stations could even be expanded 30 channels, the newspaper said.

Lee said the ministry was still seeking input from the public on the plan and the commission was awaiting policy instructions from the ministry.

“We understand the impact [the policy] will have on the market, which we will take into account,” Lee said. “Current operators have already established the infrastructure for digital broadcast. Newcomers could share those resources and develop new operational models with the current players.”

Lee said the licenses would either be sold or auctioned, but it was not a revenue-enhancing bid.

“The Government Information Office was reprimanded by the Control Yuan in 2002 for not holding public auction for the operational licenses,” he said. “We have to sell them or let others bid for them.”

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