Channel 3 is owned by by MCOT (see below). It is operated under contract by entertainment conglomerate BEC-TERO, which is also heavily involved in Thailand’s music and film industries.
Channel 5 aka ATV (“Army Television”) is owned and run by the Royal Thai Army (see below), who have numerous media interests.
Channel 7 is also owned by the army. It’s run by a made-for-purpose private operator, BBTV.
Channel 9 aka Modernine is owned and operated by MCOT.
TPBS is another public broadcasting service that is state-funded but legally independent from state control. It is the replacement iTV, which since 1997 was majority-owned by Thaksin Shinawatra’s Shin Corporation. iTV was effectively put out of business after a court ruled in 2006 that it was breaking its public-service programming commitments. TPBS is now backed by sin taxes instead of Shin Corp.
The Mass Communications Organisation of Thailand (MCOT), is a former state enterprise that was partially privatised in 2004, although the ministry of finance still owns 77% of the company. It owns Channel 3, the TNA wire service, Modernine TV, MCOT Satellite TV, and 62 radio stations.
The Royal Thai Army
The army owns two of the main terrestrial TV channels plus the Thai Global Network satellite channel and some radio stations. The military’s track record with regard to non-interference is not laudible: during its coup in 2006 it occupied all the main television stations, using tanks and troops to ensure broadcasters said nothing critical of the junta. The Bangkok Post, no fan of the regime that the army deposed, said that broadcast media under the junta was “under military control that is tighter than at any time in the past 15 years“.