Nine DTT channels to close in Spain

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 19-12-2013

Spain's Supreme Court has come with a ruling regarding the country's DTT channels after several months of speculation, with the result that nine of the channels must stop broadcasting.

Every multiplex will lose one signal, corresponding to the last radioelectric slots that were awarded in 2010.

The Supreme Court considers the 2010 awards illegal as the frequencies were given out without a formal bidding process. Following a formal complaint from Infraestructuras y Gestión 2002, this is not the first time the court has expressed the intention of closing the channels. But until now, the Government had stopped the process while negotiating with the media groups, as a DTT reorganisation is expected in 2014 to leave radioelectric space for LTE.

The affected groups are Atresmedia, Mediaset, Net TV (Vocento group) and Veo TV (Unidad Editorial group). These companies now have to make the decision as to which signals they will eliminate.

Atresmedia, after merging with laSexta, has to close three channels (out of eight), one for each multiplex. Apart from Antena 3 and laSexta, the group's main channels, it's expected that Neox and Nova will also be kept on air due to their stable audiences. Mediaset, Net and Veo will have to close two signals each.

The Spanish Government now has to negotiate with the companies regarding which channels will be closed, how and when. The Supreme Court hasn't given a specific deadline, although the closures need to be carried out in the near future.