DTT is not part of the future TV landscape and governments should not back DVB-T2 to the disadvantage of other platforms, declares Christophe Mainusch, Central European Media Enterprise’s co-CEO.
Instead (CME) wants governments to deregulate and in particular remove restrictions on advertising minutes. Speaking at NEM in Dubrovnik, Mainusch said that subscription and carriage fees are also crucial to CME: “We rightfully receive carriage fees from cable and satellite, free DTT is obsolete…It is uneconomic. We pay a significant amount to the DTT operators. It is not justified. Now this technology is to be expanded with the development of DVB-T2. The introduction of DVB-T2 is the wrong step because it is outdated and it is not fair to other operators to be confronted with a subsidy [for them].”
Mainusch said that CME has a strong investment in DTT in Croatia and the Czech Republic where it has over 50 per cent audience share. In Romania, on the other hand, CME has a strategy of ignoring DTT. “We are not DTT supporters but when you have a 50 per cent share it is not easy to say goodbye to that because we would leave our leading position and it is difficult to see how people would transfer to other services.”
Despite his criticism of DTT, Mainusch said that linear broadcasting still has a strong future and internet players are likely to have to adapt their model to become more like TV, rather than broadcasters being out-manoeuvred by internet companies.