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TV channels pay up to avoid DTT shutdown

Spanish private TV stations will pay around €20 million to the company Infraestructuras y Gestión 2002 to prevent the closure of 8 DTT channels which the Supreme Court was going to rule on next week.

In exchange for the money, the company has decided to withdraw the case just a few days before the Court made a decision scheduled for June 23rd.

With the agreement, the TV channels will be able to maintain their signals and avoid higher losses. The closure of the 8 DTT channels would have had a very negative impact on Mediaset and Atresmedia, the former would have lost four Boing, FDF, Energy and Divinity; Atresmedia, Neox and Nova with an estimated loss of up to €12 million; and Vocento (Paramount) and Unidad Editorial (13 TV), one each one.

Infraestructuras y Gestión 2002 had made an appeal on the grounds that 17 DTT licences were granted unlawfully without a public tender. In May last year 9 DTT channels were shut down following the Supreme Court’s ruling and the additional 8 DTT channels were also destined to the closure for the same reasons.

The news comes at a time when the government is set to award 6 new DTT licences (3 SD and 3 HD) next October with nine bidders in the fight for them: Atresmedia, Mediaset, Prisa, 13 TV, Grupo Secuoya, Net TV, Real Madrid, Radio Blanca and the shopping chain El Corte Ingles.

Currently, Spaniards can watch 15 nationwide DTT channels: six operated by Mediaset (Telecinco, Cuatro, FDF, Divinity, Boing and Energy), five by Atresmedia (Antena 3 TV, La Sexta, Neox, Nova and Gol TV), two from Veo TV rented to Discovery Max and 13TV, two from Net TV rented to Disney Channel and Paramount Channel. With the new channels, the DTT offer available will be 21 DTT channels with a national coverage.

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