Digital rollout could damage East European TV industry
| 28 May 2014
New research is claiming that broadcast media throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union stand to suffer when the transition to digital broadcasting takes place in 2015.

According to IREX's 2014 Media Sustainability Index (MSI) for Europe & Eurasia, even though digital broadcasting promises new channels, the way several governments are implementing the switch may actually result in fewer broadcasters being able to reach audiences and create a more restricted news environment.

The research also asserted that many consumers in the region have been kept in the dark about transition plans, with some audiences unlikely to receive clear directions or subsidies for the set-top boxes or new receivers required to continue enjoying free-to-air television.

The research highlighted fears in some countries in the region that conglomerates close to some governments or the state itself could assume monopoly control of the multiplexes carrying digital signals. Some of the media professionals counselled in the report voiced frustration about on-going unfair distribution of frequencies and situation where digital licences were denied to regional television channels and radio stations with ten to 20 years of history.