Thailand has 480 radio stations. Many fall under the aegis
of the governmental Public Relations Department which is
responsible for Radio Thailand, the official government
broadcasting station, which transmits the local and international
news mandatorily broadcast by all Thai stations. Radio Thailand
is also the official channel for government information.
Along with the Thai Television Company, Ltd., the Post
and Telegraph Department, the Royal Thai Army, Navy, and
Air Force, the Police Department, Kasetsart and Chulalongkorn
Universities, and the Ministry of Education
all operate radio stations. Except for the Education Ministry
and Radio Thailand broadcasts, all other stations are
commercial and rely heavily on advertising revenue to
cover operating costs. Programming tends to resemble the
commercial format popular in other countries, with music
and talk shows the dominant fare.
In 1955 Thailand was the first country in Southeast
Asia to begin the regular television services. Today their
are 5 channels including Channel 9 and 11 which are run
by the government, Channel 5 and 7 run by the Army leaving
Channel 3 as the only Channel run by private enterprise.
All stations except channel 11 are commercial.
The programmes therefore must meet with the acceptance
and appeal of the audience at large, hence the selection
and design of which must be properly done. Variety and
talk shows are among the most popular and largely imported
from the U.S. television series, the Chinese dramas and
the Japanese cartoons. Equally popular are the locally
produced serialized drama and
the quiz and game shows. Among the younger audiences the
U.S. and Japanese cartoons have won a sizable market.
Similarly, the local programmes specially designed and
created for youth and children are also doing well. Educational
programmes which are introduced as a part of the courses
offered by the open-university are broadcasted to enthusiastic
audiences who pursue their studies for the academic degree
through this media. Sports programmes, particularly local
and overseas soccer, boxing matches, golfing and snooker
from local sources and live telecast from overseas are
among some of the items that seem to attract great appeal
from the Thai public.
Besides the regular channels, Thailand has at last 10
privately owned cable television programmes which broadcast
in both Thai and English.