Spain's national networks oppose spectrum reduction plans

Iñaki Ferreras ©RapidTVNews | 26-03-2012

Spain's national broadcasters are starting to show their opposition to government plans to reduce its spectrum bandwidth and instead sell it to telcos.
The so called digital dividend plan of the financial axe-swinging government would reduce by half the number of stations that operators could offer viewers.
The Spanish government's objective is to reduce costs which will involve the reorganisation of frequencies in order to release the 800 MHz band currently used for digital TV for mobile telecommunications services, a key area called the country's economic recovery. This process may actually cost about €800 million: a base cost of €150 million, €500 million for the adaptation of antennas, some €26 million to campaigns, €20 million of costs resulting from changes in the emission frequency, €100 million more to ensure wider coverage.
It would likely mean that RTVE, totally reeling from a €204 million cut in its budget, Antena 3, laSexta, Veo TV and Net TV would have to give two channels each, while Mediaset (which has double the capacity by the absorption of Four), would have to reduce its offer subject to four channels. A total of 14 channels could disappear from the DTT platform.
The plan would also seriously hamper the development of high definition, 3D TV and other pay-TV options. Some TV chains have already expressed their opposition to government stating that they will not hesitate to go to court if this bill comes forward to claim compensation for damages.