Other channel operators may reap ad windfall from iTV fiasco
BEC World, MCOT and other television operators could reap a windfall from the higher demand for advertising time slots following the fiasco at iTV, stock analysts said yesterday.
Although the iTV name has now evaporated and the channel is operating as TITV under the management of the Public Relations Department (PRD), the analysts said the station would need at least three months to set a clear programming direction.
"Some parts of advertising budgets earlier earmarked to buy air time from iTV will be transferred to other channels, but it will not be much and not like what would happen if iTV had temporarily closed down," said a trader at a local broker.
The Council of State on Wednesday ruled that the PRD could legally run TITV and this allows the channel to broadcast normally during a transformation period as operations and assets are transferred to the agency.
Although the channel still broadcasts as usual, there is uncertainty about the direction of its programming and that is why advertising buyers will shift their budgets to other channels, the trader said.
For the former iTV's stock, he added that there was a slim chance that the company could rehabilitate its business.
"The best ways to rehabilitate a business are raising fresh capital and seeking potential new business, but it is very difficult for [the former] iTV as it no longer has a core business. Moreover, it must shoulder liabilities of Bt100 billion and this would be a major stumbling block for the company to seek new partner to make it further viable," he said.
Seamico Securities estimated that revenues at both BEC World and MCOT would increase, but not significantly, at about Bt20 million per month over the next one to three months now that iTV has become TITV.
"We estimate that only some portions of advertising budgets earlier bought as air time at iTV will be transferred to other channels, because almost all advertising buyers already buy time from other channels. We predict that around Bt60 million to Bt70 million per month of the advertising budgets for iTV will be switched to others," the broker said.
The broker has put a "buy" recommendation on MCOT's stock, although it did not end up managing the struggling broadcaster.
"This issue does not have any significant impact on MCOT and its share price has yet to reflect the company's new programmes, which are expected to receive a better response from audiences than the market's earlier expectation," the broker stated.
Ayudhya Securities senior vice president Kitti Hamnilrat agreed that uncertainty about television programming with the channel operated under the PRD would cause advertising budgets to be transferred to other channels.
He estimated it would take more than three months to see a clear direction for the new channel's programmes.
The stock of MCOT yesterday closed 0.98 per cent higher at Bt25.75, while that of BEC World rose 0.48 per cent to Bt21.