Nine nationwide DTT channels in Spain will have to cease broadcasting following the government’s decision to revoke their licences awarded by the previous Administration in 2010.
The decision will affect four of Spain’s biggest media groups: Mediaset, Atresmedia (the former Antena 3 group), Vocento and Unidad Editorial.
Mediaset will lose 2 DTT channels; Atresmedia will lose 3; Vocento, operator of Net TV will lose 2; and Unidad Editorial also 2. The move will also affect other companies as both Vocento and Unidad Editorial have hired some of their channels to third parties.
The edict comes after a Spanish Supreme Court ruling that found the licences invalid because they were awarded without a public auction.
UTECA, the private TV association, has criticised the measure and confirmed that it will be appealing against it. UTECA said that the decision will affect “a sector in crisis that has lost 50 per cent of its market in the past five years” adding that it will threaten “the development of value-added services”.
The government is looking to reassign the frequencies by January 1st 2014 as a result of the digital dividend.