From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Five foreign companies have so far expressed interest in the DTT multiplex operator licence for the Brazilian publicly-owned TV channels.
Marubeni (Japan), Next Generation Broadcasting (Sweden), Screen Service (Italy), TDF (France) and Abertis Telecom (Spain) are all likely to take part in the public consultation which will define the obligations for the network operator that will be responsible for the construction, management and maintenance of the DTT network. The network will be used by the state-owned broadcasters TV Brasil, TV JustiÃ§a, TV Senado, TV CÃ¢mara, as well as channels belonging to the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Communications.
Marubeni has been interested in the issue from the very start, even consulting the Brazilian government how to proceed with the technical studies to make the network operator viable. For its part, NGB's strategy consists in the creation of a services operator for digital TV, free-to-air and pay-TV, with the financial support of the Swedish pension funds and technological expertise in the exploration of multi-channel programming.
The operator of the public DTT multiplex is likely to receive a government endowment of BRL 1.5 billion (US$ 750 million) until the end of the 18-year contract.