Spain: New DTT channels in 2015
From David Del Valle in Madrid
Spain will call a new public tender to award nationwide DTT channels, with priority for HD content, in 2015 – representing 30 per cent of the country’s private TV frequencies.
Following the recent closure of nine DTT channels whose licences were awarded in 2010 unlawfully (without a public tender) the Administration has worked out a new DTT plan to reshape the national DTT map coinciding with the allocation of the so-called digital dividend to be completed by January 2015.
The new DTT plan says there will be eight DTT multiplexes with National and Regional coverage. Current national broadcasters will operate 5.4 digital multiplexes, including pubcaster RTVE and the private TV channels. Currently there are just 15 DTT channels operating on a national level since the closure in May of the nine DTT channels (La Sexta 3, Xplora, Nitro, La Siete, Nueve, MTV, Intereconomia, AXN and Marca TV).
The Spanish government plans to approve by the end of this month the digital dividend technical plan to free up the 800 MHz band frequencies currently used by DTT channels.
The digital migration must be completed by January 1st 2015 with the 800 MHz band frequencies being allocated to Telefonica, Vodafone Spain and Orange Spain for LTE services.
The Administration will launch a publicity campaign in September covering the reorganisation of the DTT spectrum and the freeing up of the digital dividend so that installers and communities can begin taking steps to adapt the antennas.