Bangkok Broadcasting sues IPTV in U.S. court

Alleges copyright infringement and illegal rebroadcast

HONG KONG -- Thailand's Bangkok Broadcasting & TV Co. has begun legal proceedings in the U.S. against IPTV Corp., alleging copyright infringement and illegal rebroadcasting of its TV shows.

The company, operator of the Channel 7 free-to-air network, claims that IPTV, through its online unit, is reselling its signal to a distribution network that feeds Thai and Asian stores throughout the U.S. The complaint also contends that the BKT retail store in Los Angeles sells and rents Bangkok Broadcasting's copyrighted works.

The complaint and motion for preliminary injunction was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. It names IPTV Corp.,, BKT Group, Ron Petcha, Tip Petcha and Noppadon Wongchaiwat as defendants.

"BBTV has entered into these legal actions because it sees no other recourse for combating what we firmly believe are unlawful acts being perpetrated by the defendants in order to profit from BBTV's copyrighted works without our permission," the company said in a statement.

According to Group M (Thailand), one of the country's top media-buying agencies, overall advertising in Thailand fell by 3.1% to baht 27.1 billion ($786.6 million) in the first four months of the year, but TV ad revenue grew by 1.6%.

AGB Nielsen ratings data for the first quarter of the year gave Channel 7 some 28% of advertising market share, slightly behind Channel 3 with 30%.