Spain: New DTT public tender?

The Spanish government is considering calling a fresh public tender to award the nine DTT licences that were recently revoked following the Supreme Court ruling that the licences were invalid as they were granted by the the previous Administration without a public tender.

In the new public tender, the Administration would give priority to those bidders interested in launching HD DTT channels. Atresmedia, owner of Antena 3 and La Sexta, and Mediaset, owner of Tele 5 and Cuatro, would be the most likely candidates to get the majority of the licences as the removal of their licences would affect 3 and 2 of their DTT channels respectively. US majors such as Viacom or media groups such as Vocento or Unidad Editorial may also bid for the licences.
In the meantime, the government has eliminated the January 2014 deadline for the allocation of the so-called digital dividend. Last year, the Administration publicly set the January 2014 deadline for the allocation of the frequencies to be used for the provision of 4G mobile services, but now the Government has removed that date and the allocation of the 800 Mhz frequencies currently used by the DTT channels is now up in the air.

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