Portugal eyes quick digitalisation

Up to 80% of Portugalís population should be able to receive DTT signals by the end of this year, with the whole country being covered at the end of 2010.

The figures were given by Zeinal Baval, the executive VP of Portugal Telecom (TP), and quoted in Diaro de Noticias.

Baval, who was speaking to the DTT Forum, created by RTP, SIC and TVI, added that Portugal would therefore be all-digital ahead of the ASO date of 2012 required by the EU.

At present, some 40% of homes in the country are able to receive digital (non-terrestrial) TV, with its DTT service due to make its debut, initially in 10 regions, on April 29.

Also speaking to the DTT Forum, Francisco Pinto Balsem„o, chairman of Impresa, the owner the SIC, argued that the state should pay for the transition to digital broadcasting.

Furthermore, he criticised the launch of what will be a fifth generalist channel, following the launch of DTT, in what are increasingly difficult conditions for the advertising market.