TVPís decision to stop using Astra to distribute its channels from the beginning of next year was first and foremost to improve the reach of TVP Kultura and TVP Historia, according to Jacek Rakowiecki, a spokesman for the Polish public broadcaster.

Quoted by Wirtualne Media, he added that the financial savings would be minimal and did not influence the decision.

This runs counter to what he was reported to have said when the decision first came to light earlier this week.

TVP Kultura and TVP Historia will employ Hot Bird at 13 degrees East and become encrypted channels for cable and DTH reception.

As a result, they will be able to offer viewers more high quality programming.

Although Rakowiecki says TVPís decision is final, Martin Ornass-Kubacki, the president of Astra Central Europe, has expressed hope that the two parties can continue to work together.