The minister of Industry in Spain, Jose Manuel Soria, has confirmed that the government will close down nine DTT channels by the end of the year to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling that the award of the DTT licences by the previous government in 2010 without a public tender was unlawful.
All of them are nationwide DTT channels. Atresmedia, owner of Antena 3 and La Sexta, is the most affected with three channels. Mediaset, owner of Tele 5 and Cuatro owner of Net TV and Veo TV, will have to close down two channels each.
Another eight DTT channels may still be shut as Infraestructuras y Gestion 2002, which took the case to the Court, has made an appeal asking to extend the total number of affected TV channels to 17.
The government is holding negotiations with the TV broadcasters to speed up the closure of the channels in order to comply with its digital dividend deadline of January 2014 for the electronic spectrum to be released for the provision of 4G mobile services.