1.2 million Spanish at risk of losing DTT coverage

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 25-11-2013

Nearly 1.2 million Spanish viewers are in danger of losing their DTT coverage if no decision is made soon regarding the European Commission sentence which is forcing the Government to reclaim DTT subsidies.

This could even drive some local providers to closure, says the Government.
However, the EC is not about to revoke the ruling as the subsidies are contrary to European competition rules. The solution seems to be calling for a quick tender in which all technological providers can participate rather than making a series of official complaints.
Luis Sahún, SES Spain's director, is insisting on the need to reclaim the €236 million in subsidies and the opening of a public tender that respects the principle of technological neutrality. According to him, there would be no risk for viewers if the process is properly carried out. Indeed, the public will benefit, as other broadcasting technologies – like satellite – are cheaper than terrestrial in some areas of the country.
"Using the strengths of different technologies in order to digitise TV will optimise the costs," explained Sahún. "Many market researchers point to satellite as one of the leading technologies for the future of digital TV services."
The problem with the subsidies in Spain is also related to the lack of radioelectric space which the Government is reorganising in order to free TV frequencies and leave space for 4G LTE networks. Stopping the use of terrestrial technologies in some areas of the country could also leave more free slots.