From Branislav Pekic in Rome
The tender for Portugal's fifth national free-to-air TV channel will be launched in October or 180 days after the submitting of the bids on the Digital Terrestrial Television tender.
Portugal's Minister for Parliamentary Issues, Augusto Santos Silva, announced that the bids for the two DTT tenders can be submitted up until April 23. The bids will be published a day later, with the DTT licenses being issued by October.
The new national FTA channel will be available on DTT and cable. Santos Silva said that the operator of the new channel will be selected “by the end of winter or the beginning of spring 2009”. The remaining frequency spectrum will be used for the launch of an HDTV channel, airing a selection of programs for existing national TV channels RTP 1 and 2, SIC, TVI and the fifth channel.
Portuguese media groups Controlinveste and Cofina are known to be the frontrunners for the new channel.