The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has ordered the Tonight Thailand programme of Voice TV to be off the air for 15 days effectively starting today (Tuesday) until April 3, citing the presentation of a programme of being provocative, incitement of conflict and division and causing public confusion.
The programme suspension order was signed by NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tanthasit on Monday.
According to a post on Voice TV website, the NBTC felt that the presentation of a programme in Tonight Thailand programme on March 1 contained content which was likely to cause confusion, incite conflict and division in the country which was deemed a breach of an agreement between NBTC and Voice TV dated June 4, 2017.
Also, the NBTC believed that the company did not screen the content of the programme in question before it was broadcasted.
It was reported that the content that the moderator mentioned was about the French revolution which the NBTC felt that was inappropriate and irrelevant with the Thai society and the situation in the country.
Earlier, the NBTC summoned the management of Voice TV for clarification about the contents of Wake Up Thailand and Tonight Thailand programmes. As for the Wake Up Thailand programme, the broadcasting regulator warned the management to exercise more caution in the airing of the programme.
The latest programme shutdown was not the first experienced by Voice TV. The controversial digital TV operator faced complete shutdowns and partial blackouts on several occasions as follows:
After the coup by the NCPO in 2014, the station was completely shut down for 26 consecutive days from May 20 to June 17. It was the only TV station shut down by the junta.
June 3, 2015, Wake Up Thailand programme was pulled off the car for two weeks;
February 15, 2016, Daily Dose programme was ordered off the air for three days;
August 15, 2016, moderator of Daily Dose programme was ordered off the air for 10 days;
August 29, 2016, Wake Up News programme was suspended for seven days;
February 7, 2017, Daily Dose programme was shut down for seven days;
March 4, 2017, moderator of Daily Dose programme was suspended from airing for ten days;
March 27, 2017, the station was shut down for seven days.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)