Astra could quit Spain

SES Astra is threatening to exit the Spanish market because it claims the government is favouring Hispasat in the DTT signal distribution. Astra claims Hispasat is taking advantage of its privileged relationship with Spain's government to develop its terrestrial business.

Spain's main audiovisual signal distributor telco Abertis Telecom is Hispasat's main shareholder.

Astra also claims this situation goes against more efficient services in the last parts of the DTT coverage such as satellite. At the same time the satellite operator criticises the government for preventing other competitors in the DTT satellite distribution market such as the case of DTT over satellite to cover those areas without terrestrial coverage.

Finally, Astra critizices the financial support for terrestrial technology by the different regional governments by saying this goes against the principle of technological neutrality.