BAI abandons Irish commercial DTT

January 8, 2014 10.56 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Broadcasting Authority of IrelandThe Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has dropped plans for the licensing of commercial DTT services after an analysis by Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates (O&O) suggested market conditions had not improved since the unsuccessful 2008 licensing process.

O&O considered a number of potential business models for commercial DTT, while the BAI itself consulted with interested parties.

The authority agreed with the report and has advised the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD that it will not now be proceeding with the process.

Bob Collins, Chairperson of the BAI said “The contents of the report raise a number of policy implications for consideration by Government and also for the BAI, having regard to its statutory obligations and its enduring objectives in respect of diversity and plurality. In submitting copies of the review to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, the BAI would now welcome the opportunity to discuss the findings of the report and the policy implications arising at an early date.”

Previous plans to run a commercial service were abandoned in 2010 after the BAI failed to find an operator.

At the time three consortium, Easy TV, a joint venture between Liberty Global and RTE; OneVision, led by the telco Eircom, and the Swedish Boxer had all entered the original ‘beauty contest’ in 2008.

The Saorview DTT platform continues under the auspices of public broadcaster RTE.