In an unprecedented move, the board of directors at UTECA, the private TV Association, has resigned in protest against the Spanish government’s inaction in defining a new DTT map.
The symbolic gesture comes following broadcaster complaints about the uncertainty that, they say, the government has brought to the TV market by postponing its final decision about whether to close down nine DTT channels, as ruled by the Supreme Court because the awarding process of was regarded unlawful.
UTECA is against the closure arguing that the Court’s decision is based on a technicality and that it seriously damages the operators’ interests and “puts several channels at risk” reducing the TV offer and damaging Spain’s TV industry.
The closure of the channels would affect AtresMedia which would shut down three DTT channels, whilst Mediaset, Veo TV and Net TV would shut two channels each
A government decision to close down the channels and maybe call on a new public tender has been expected over the last months with January 2014 being the latest deadline missed. However, no decision has been made yet, delaying the definition of a new DTT map and the allocation of the so-called digital dividend.