Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt moves on Thai-owned TV station

Govt moves on Thai-owned TV station

Govt moves on Thai-owned TV station

C AMBODIA'S first private television company, the Thai-owned International

Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), is trying to sell its station because it was

losing money and was faced with "impossible" conditions from the government,

according to General Manger Pichai Chand-Aium.

Information Minister Ieng

Mouly told IBC that a Cambodian partner must take 51 percent of the station's

ownership, or else its 30-year contract would be halved and its tax-exemption

importing status canceled.

Pichai said that the station was losing

$40,000 each month in the last two years.

Advertising revenue has dropped

roughly 80 percent since United Nations troops withdrew from Cambodia and in the

face of two competitors: state-owned TVK and the former Funcinpec station

TV-9.

He said IBC in Bangkok would not accept the government's proposal

and wanted to sell the entire station. He suggested someone such as Teng Boon

Ma, chairman of Thai Boon Rong company, might be one who could afford the

probable $2 million price tag.

Pichai told the Post that he will decide

to have a Cambodian shareholder only if no one wanted to buy it

outright.

Khieu Kanharith, the secretary of state for the Information

Ministry, said that the government would like to have Cambodian partners working

in TV and radio stations.

He said IBC had only invested about $1 million

in the station "so it is not suitable to have a long [30-year]

contract".

However, Pichai said the investment by owners Shinawatra Group

was nearer $2.8 million.

IBC's contract has actually dropped from 99

years under the State of Cambodia regime, to 30 years under an SNC

ruling.

Kanharith, who signed the SNC contract relating to IBC when he

was formerly the Minister of Information, said that the former government wanted

to have many foreign investors because they lacked sufficient laws.

"Now,

we look to Cambodia's future. We should have suitable procedures for foreign

investors based on Cambodian law."

Pichai said his station was held in

high esteem among local companies, and had very good cooperation with the

government.

"We have been operating according to Cambodian law. We have

every thing in the Khmer language.

"Everything has been censored by

government - even the foreign movies, such as American, Chinese or Thai

movies."

The company had 100 Cambodian employees and had been airing

international and local news, sports, entertainment and educational programs for

11 hours a day, since 1993.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of