UPC starts digital distribution of local channels

By Robert Briel
November 25, 2009 08.07 UK

UPC Nederland has started digital distrubution of a number of local, non-commercial channels. Salto 1 & 2 from Amsterdam, Haarlem 105, Lokale Omroep Landsmeer, Rotterdam TV and ETV (also Rotterdam) are now carried in regional parts of the network.

The local channels are now available to about 600,000 of the cabler’s customers.

Until now, Dutch cable operators distributed local channels only on their basic analogue tier, citing technical problems with injection digital channels into selected parts of the networks. Also, there was an argument about who should pay for the technical infrastructure to make digital distribution of local channels possible. Across the country, there are dozens of non-commercial channels active, mainly driven by volunteers.

Ziggo, the country’s larrgest cable operator, has also started to carry a few local channels on an experimental basis including OOG in Groningen and the local broadcaster in Alphen aan de Rijn. According to Ziggo, the cost of adding local broadcasters to the digital tier is between €7,500 and €15,000 plus a monthly cost of between €150 -200.