Astra/TVP spat mars Polish DTH plans

April 28, 2008 – 11:40 BST

Poland’s potentially fifth DTH platform is unlikely to make its debut before the end of 2009 at the earliest.

Although SES Astra remains the most likely partner for the service, which would be operated by the national public broadcaster TVP, disagreements are reported to have surfaced between the two parties. These have culminated in Astra Poland lodging a protest with a Polish ministry – Krajowa Izba Odwolacza (KIO) – alleging that TVP broke the law by not providing it with information related to costs in its application to operate a DTH platform.

This was denied by TVP, but Astra Poland has since responded by referring the matter to another ministry.

Although SES Astra remains confident that it will be TVP’s preferred partner, no agreement has yet been signed by the two parties.
Poland currently has three DTH platforms – Cyfrowy Polsat, Cyfra+ and n – and is expected to launch a four operated by France Telecom-backed TPSA later this year.