The Spanish cabinet meeting has officially approved the awarding of the six DTT licences (3 x SD and 3 x HD) to Atresmedia and Mediaset (1 x HD each), media group Grupo Secuoya, 13TV and radio group Radio Blanca (1 x SD DTT channel each).
The successful bidders will now have until April 2016 to start transmissions, which initially must cover 50 per cent of the population and 96 per cent in 24 months.
With the awarding of the new DTT licences, Mediaset will operate a total of seven TV channels (Telecinco, Cuatro, FDF, Divinity, Boing, Energy and the new HD channel) and Atresmedia six (Antena 3, laSexta, Neox, Nova, Mega and the new HD channel).
Football club Real Madrid will be able to break into the DTT market with its own DTT licence. Media groups Prisa, Vocento and the shopping group El Corte Ingles have been left out of the market.
The tender was launched in April after nine DTT channels were shut down last year, reducing the number of free-to-air channels in Spain from 24 to 15.