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The new public tender to award 6 DTT channels (3 HD and 3 SD channels) in Spain is drawing the interest of International TV companies. Groups like the Qatar-based Al Jazeera and Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp are reportedly interested in applying for a DTT licence.
Al Jazeera has already taken the first steps to having a presence in the Spanish TV market with the forthcoming launch of sports channel beIn Sports through an agreement with Mediapro. Also, It is reportedly holding talks with Telefonica to enter into an alliance on the pay-TV platform Canal Plus.
For News Corp, it is the best opportunity to break into the Spanish TV market for the first time after failing several times in its attempt to gain presence in the Iberian Peninsula. But the tender is also attracting interests amongst domestic TV companies. Groups like Prisa, Mediapro and Secuoya have expressed their interests in bidding for the licences along with the largest TV groups in Spain; Mediaset and Atresmedia, and the catholic TV channel 13TV.
All of them have until May 28th to submit their proposals with the government announcing on June 16th the list of accepted candidates whom will only be able to apply for two licences as maximum. Once the licences are awarded (for 15 years) the successful bidders will have six months to start transmissions with an initial coverage of 50 per cent of the population, 80 per cent in a year, 90 per cent in one year and a half and 96 per cent in two years.
The bidders must provide a guarantee of €6 million for the maintenance of the service and with a total turnover of no less than €2.5 million over the last three years.