Italian newspaper Milano Finanza reports that Italy’s new government is considering raising the fees levied for the nation’s free digital multiplexes and their associated terrestrial channels.
Equity analysts at investment bank Exane/BNPP say that the plans specifically impact Mediaset and public broadcaster RAI.
The present scheme has Mediaset, for example, obliged to pay €55 million annually to play out its channels, but this was subsequently discounted. The bank’s report says that – as yet – there’s no indication as to where the DTT fees could end up.
Another factor likely to influence any decision is the recently announced plan to switch all DTT transmissions from the MPEG-2 standard to the more efficient MPEG-4 in the AVC/DVB-T2 mode. This process will start on January 1st 2020, and while freeing up capacity for cellular operators some extra space could be used for new channels.
Italy’s National Communications Authority (AgCOM) in July published its National Plan for the Allocation of Digital Terrestrial TV Frequencies (PNAF 2018).
A total of 10 national multiplexes in the UHF band are planned, as well as 4 local multiplexes in the UHF band in each technical area (5 local networks in technical areas 3 and 13); and a regional multiplex in the III VHF band.