Portugal’s Ministry of Culture has sent the regulation and specification for two new thematic commercial TV channels on the national DTT network to the Regulatory Entity for Social Communication (ERC).
The Ministry said that the decision “stems from the weighting between the current TV offer, the capacity of operators to offer certain types of services, and the consumer’s appetite for certain contents”. It added that, with the increase of the TV offer, broadcasters will end up paying less in carriage fees to the DTT multiplex operator.
According to daily Correio de Manha, one channel will be dedicated to news, while the second will be a sports channel.
Commercial broadcasters SIC and TVI already have news channels on cable (SIC Notícias and TVI 24) for which they may seek a DTT licence. Potential bidders for the sports channel licence include Sport TV, Eleven Sports and A Bola TV.
The media regulator has until October 9th to pronounce itself, after which a public consultation will be opened (lasting 30 days), to be followed by the tendering process itself (possibly in November). The ERC will then be called on to analyse the bids and to award the licences.
Currently, Portuguese DTT viewers can receive seven TV channels – four from public broadcaster RTP (RTP 1, RTP 2, RTP 3 and RTP Memory), SIC and TVI, as well as Canal Parlamento.