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Portuguese left-wing party Bloco de Esquerda, which supports the socialist government of Prime Minister Antonio Costa, has submitted a draft law in Parliament for the expansion of the DTT offer.
The party wants public broadcaster RTP to make available at least two more of its thematic TV channels on the free-to-air DTT platform as soon as possible. This move, it claims, would not be to the detriment of commercial broadcasters, as the public TV channels would not be able to air commercials.
It has also proposed that the National Communications Authority (Anacom) is granted greater jurisdiction on pricing, by determining the maximum price that DTT network operator PT Portugal can charge for transmission and distribution of each TV channel.
According to the draft law, Anacom and media regulator ERC would have to jointly prepare and present to Parliament, within 6 months, studies to determine the DTT model to be adopted in Portugal. These should include economic-financial projections for the various DTT models possible, taking into account the different European experiences; technological developments, market characteristics; as well as interest from citizens and consumers.
The proposal has been well received by the ruling Socialist Party, which has already included the expansion of the DTT offer in Portugal in its government program.
RTP chairman, Gonçalo Reis, has expressed the broadcaster’s willingness to start transmitting the RTP3 and RTP Memória channels on DTT.
Portugal is one of the European countries with the fewest channels available on DTT. Currently, TV viewers can only receive five TV channels – RTP1, RTP2, SIC, TVI and ARTV – Canal Parlamento.
PT Portugal (Meo) was awarded the DTT network operator contract in October 2008, while the ASO in Portugal was completed on April 26th 2012.