Jörn Krieger | 19-09-2013
Germany's two large commercial TV groups ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL are demanding assurance from politicians and regulators that the 700MHz frequency block will continue to be assigned to digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the long run and not be handed over to mobile network operators.
The companies see this planning and investment security as a precondition for participating in the DVB-T2 standard which public broadcasters ARD and ZDF want to deploy from 2017.
"We welcome the decision by ARD and ZDF regarding the further development of terrestrial broadcasting. The constitution of a DVB-T2 proposition and its introduction can now be discussed in more detail," a ProSiebenSat.1 spokeswoman told Rapid TV News. "However, we expect clear support from politicians to solve the frequency issue at the World
Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) in the interests of the broadcasting industry. ""The preservation of the frequencies for broadcast usage beyond 2020 provides investment security and therefore forms the basis for the future alignment of digital terrestrial television," she said. "This is the only way for this distribution method to remain economically viable in future. Under the mentioned conditions, we are gladly prepared to play an active role in the shaping of the future of terrestrial broadcasting."
RTL group, which wants to completely pull out of DTT in Germany by the end of 2014, also sees politicians and regulators as being required to make a move now. "We need planning security and sensible refinancing opportunities," Tobias Schmid, head of media politics at RTL, recently replied to a question in an interview with German industry publication text intern when asked what's required for the TV group to change its mind. As key parameters he named planning security regarding the frequencies and the possibility of implementing a future-proof business model.