RTL Deutschland reconsiders DVB-T distribution

December 19, 2013 10.24 Europe/London By Robert Briel

rtl-germany-dishRTL Deutschland is reconsidering the future of digital terrestrial broadcasting in view of the plans of the new German government.

In its coalition agreement, the thee parties, CDU, CSU and SPD, forming the new German government, have agreed to continue to earmark frequency spectrum for the continuation of DVB-T2 broadcasts in the country.

In a statement, RTL said that this signals more security for the future of DTT. At the beginning of 2013, RTL said one of the reasons for terminating its DVB-T distribution was the fact that there was too much political uncertainty about the future of digital terrestrial broadcasting.

The combined German media authorities DLM welcomed RTL’s statement. It’s chairman Jürgen Brautmeier said “DVB-T is along side cable and satellite an important way to distribute digital TV channels in high quality.” According to him, broadcasters must be sure that there will be a viable business model, also in the future, for the continuation of digital terrestrial distribution, “There is indeed a danger that frequency spectrum will be turned over to mobile operators after 2020.”

Dr. Tobias Schmid, head of media politics of RTL Deutschland. said in a statement, “After federal and state governments had failed in the past two years to provide the necessary security for us in planning for a continuation of the terrestrial television broadcasting, we welcome this clear signal of the policy makers. It is an important first step to evaluate this new distribution channel.”

“What we now need is a common and future-proof concept for all broadcasters with regards to digital terrestrial distribution. There needs not only be a viable business model, but also an especially modified competitive legal framework to give the local media industry the chance to help shape the dramatic technological upheavals in the interest of the market.”

The new coalition agreement of the government offers a good staring point. “It should be the first priority of the proposed federal-state working group to resolve the conflict between media regulation and competition law,” said Schmid.