Bulgaria faces digital turbulence

By Chris Dziadul | May 21, 2009

Strong doubts are being voiced about the prospects for digital TV in Bulgaria only days after the launch of a multiplex tender.

Reporting on the Fifth World Meeting of Bulgarian Media organised by BTA, the news agency quotes a forecast by Radosvet Radev, the head of Darek Radio, that the media ad market could shrink by as much as half this year.

The publisher Martin Zahariev meanwhile said that Bulgaria’s ad market is currently unable to sustain eight national digital TV channels, let alone the 48 that are eventually planned for a total of six multiplexes.

Dmiter Tsonev, the deputy programme director at BNT, meanwhile confimed that the public broadcaster is planning to launch a number of new thematic channels.

They will cover such areas as sport, movies and education and be carried on a DTT multiplex allocated solely to BNT. Kai Urbanek, the business director for Austria’s ORS – one of the bidders for a multiplex licence – added that the company plans to invest BGN50 million (€25.6 million) should it win the contest.

He also expressed concerns that Bulgaria may not be able to meet a 2012 ASO target.