Spain's industry wants pay DTT

Iñaki Ferreras

Set-top box manufacturers have urged Spain’s government to give the green light to pay-DTT, while technological platforms and content providers want the situation to be clarified as soon as possible. Some €5,000 million is at stake here in the next four years.

Most broadcasters, with the exception of Mediaset’s Telecinco, have already shown their disposal to start launching pay-DTT content. And manufacturers are ready, with stock ready to go and waiting for the government's decision.

But the Association of Communication and Electronics Companies (ASIMELEC) has aired its doubts on whether pay-DTT will be ready to begin in four or five months’ time. The association has also criticized the government for not having informed it about the technological development of the new service.

"We have more than half a million units in stock, just waiting for the government's green light," a source from ASIMELEC complained.

Software developers and content providers are in a similar situation. They stated it would be necessary to have at least six months to launch their software and get equipment up to standard.

ASIMELEC also criticizes the government for not explaining whether the model of the pay-DTT decoder chosen will include open standards and if it will work under a horizontal business model.

A recent study made by some audiovisual investment funds has calculated the impact of pay DTT will add some €5,000 million to the market. Of this more than half will be value created in the decoder and TV set manufacuring businesses, as well as in conditional access; another €1,300 million will flow to the broadcasters, installers and network operators such as Abertis Telecom and finally another €750 million will go to the content providers.

Apart from Dahlia TV, (see yesterday's story) network operator Abertis Telecom has also prepared a technological platform ready for pay-DTT that is already open to all broadcasters.