Italy announces DTT auction

February 11, 2014 11.40 Europe/London By Robert Briel

italy-glowItaly’s ministry for economic development (MiSE) has announced the auction of three licences for new digital terrestrial TV frequencies.

The government hopes to raise at least EUR90.75 million for licences L1, L2 and L3. The starting price for the three packages is EUR 29.3 million, EUR 29.8 million and EUR 31.6 million respectively.

The auction for the 20-year licenses favours new entrants and small operators, which are free to bid for all three packages. Groups which already hold two multiplexes will be able to bid for two packages.

The main broadcasters which already hold three or more multiplexes, including Mediaset, RAI and Telecom Italia Media, are ruled out of bidding.

However, in a measure which would allow Sky Italia to bid, groups with a market share of more than 50% of the pay TV segment would be eligible to bid for a single multiplex (L1).

The three packages are L1, for channels 6 and 23 with an estimated coverage of 89.5% of the Italian population, L2, for channels 7 and 11 covering 91.1% of the population, and L3, for channels 25 and 59 covering around 96.6% of the population.

The call for tenders will be published on Wednesday, February 12, and parties will have 60 days from the date of publication in which to submit their bids.