Spain: Private channels appeal DTT cancellation
April 30, 2013
From David Del Valle in Madrid
UTECA, the private TV Association formed by Mediaset, Atresmedia, Veo and Net TV, is taking the Spanish government to court over its decision to revoke nine DTT channels on the grounds that it puts the Audiovisual sector “in an unprecedented situation with no legal guarantee”.
Last March, the Administration decided to revoke the licences of nine nationwide DTT channels awarded by the previous government following the Supreme Court ruling that the licences were invalid as they were awarded without a public tender as the law stated.
UTECA has urged the government to sort the conflict out in a different way avoiding the closure of the channels which, according to them, would cause them major financial damage.
The government’s decision would affect four of Spain’s biggest media groups: Mediaset, Atresmedia (the former Antena 3 group), Vocento and Unidad Editorial. Mediaset would lose two DTT channels; Atresmedia, 3; Vocento, operator of Net TV, 2; and Unidad Editorial, 2. The move would also affect other companies as both Vocento and Unidad Editorial have leased some of their channels to third parties. The government is seeking to reallocate the frequencies by January 1st, 2014 as ‘the digital dividend’.