End to Spanish DTT dispute?
From David Del Valle in Madrid
Prisa, the parent company of Sogecable (DTH platform Digital Plus, Canal Plus and FTA channel Cuatro) has reached an agreement with domestic broadcasting agency Abertis Telecom, to be part of its pay-DTT platform, TDT Premium, alongside its rival Mediapro, shareholder in the commercial channel La Sexta, and owner of the first pay DTT channel, Gol TV.
This means Prisa has backed down on its plans to launch an alternative pay-DTT platform with a proprietary technology. The decision comes at a time when the company has just signed a deal with Mediaset-controlled Tele 5 to merge Cuatro and Tele 5 allowing the latter channel to acquire a 22 per cent stake in pay DTH platform Digital Plus.
Prisa has plans to launch around 4 pay DTT channels, following the merger agreement Prisa will manage the pay DTT channels of the new joint company. Prisa's pay DTT channels will be marketed under the brand of Canal Plus and the first launch is likely to take place in September.
Today, the Abertis Telecom pay DTT platform is distributing only two channels; Gol TV and AXN, to around 150,000 DTT subscribers (1 million combining all possible distribution platforms, according to the company). Abertis Telecom claims to have so far invested E350 million in the deployment of DTT.