Spanish Government aims to close DTT channels

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 12-11-2013

Spain needs to reorganise its radioelectric spectrum to free up space for LTE technologies, and the Government intends to do this by closing nine DTT channels.

The Ministry of Industry, Josť Manuel Soria, stated at a Europa Press event that the Government is ready to abide by the Supreme Court's latest ruling and close down nine channels.

Soria explained that the Ministry is studying its options following the closure of Valencia's regional TV, which is also going to free up some radioelectric spectrum. The closure of the nine channels seems to be beyond discussion, as the court has ruled that the last nine licences to be awarded in 2010 were illegal.

The plan is still to finish reorganising the spectrum before the end of the year, although several experts have pointed out that a delay is highly likely.

Exactly which channels will be closed down has not yet been decided. Atresmedia will probably be the most affected, as Antena 3 received an extra licence in 2010 and laSexta, which belongs to the same group, received two more. Mediaset, which owns Cuatro and Telecinco, may be also among those companies affected by the Government's action.

The ministry promised a huge free slot by 2014 for 4G networks, which are currently being operated in some marginal spaces and not by all the telcos. Therefore, the Government is speeding up the paperwork and negotiations to close the DTT channels as soon as possible.