Exclusive: Germany's main commercial broadcasters to stay on DTT

Jörn Krieger | 13-09-2012

Dependent on several factors, RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 want to maintain the digital terrestrial distribution of their channels, but make a transition to the new transmission standard DVB-T2.

Speaking exclusively to Rapid TV News, a spokesman of RTL group said: "DVB-T is still the most costly distribution method per household. We have therefore been in discussions for some time to determine and develop sustainable concepts for the continuation of terrestrial broadcasting."

The spokesman continued: "DVB-T2 could certainly be a transmission standard, making terrestrial TV distribution more attractive for commercial broadcasters - under the condition that the gain in data rate leads to a cost reduction for this distribution method. This standard would also open the door both for HDTV and the integration of hybrid services on terrestrial airwaves."

Both options could make this distribution method more attractive for viewers and content providers if they were deployed in an economically sensible way, he said, but added: "If this is not accomplished, then the continuation of our engagement would be in question in the medium term."

ProSiebenSat.1 also wants to stick with DVB-T, but decide about the long-term perspective at a later stage. "Our contracts for DVB-T run until the end of 2014. This ensures for now that we will continue to distribute our signals terrestrially in the next two years," a ProSiebenSat.1 spokeswoman told Rapid TV News.

"We are basically open for any technological progress which provides real added value to our viewers," she added. "However, regarding DVB-T2 we can't give an exact prognosis at this stage as to the time when this topic will actually become relevant to the market."

Public broadcaster ARD recently announced that it would hold onto digital terrestrial TV distribution in the long run and would be open for a transition to the new system DVB-T2 which enables more channels, HDTV offerings and interactive services through hybrid solutions.