09.43 Europe/London, August 23, 2011 By Chris Dziadul

Protests are growing over last week’s digital TV licence awards in Ukraine, with at least one of the failed bidders having already embarked on legal action.

However, according to Kommentarii, any litigation is unlikely to affect the launch of the country’s first four DTT multiplexes, which will be operated by Zeonbud and carry a total of 28 channels.

TVi has filed a suit against Ukraine’s National Council for Television and Radio broadcasting (NTVCU) with the District Administrative Court in Kiev demanding an annulment of the awards, which were made by the regulator last Thursday (August 18).

Surprisingly, when questioned by the local press as to why the NTVCU had not award a licence to TVi, Council representatives said that it had been due controversies at the station rather than its programme concept or financial status.

They also said that TVi could be reconsidered for a licence once these controversies are resolved.

Other failed bidders understood to be preparing to take legal action against the regulator include TRK, a long-established broadcaster based in Crimea, Kiev’s Citi and Most (‘Bridge’) in Lviv.

Zeonbud plans to launch its DTT service in September.