ERC, the Portuguese media regulator, believes that the process for the licensing of two new TV channels on the national DTT network will not be completed before 2019.
Speaking at a Parliamentary hearing, João Pedro Figueiredo, a member of the Board of the Regulatory Entity for Social Communication (ERC), confirmed that they have received the regulations and specifications of the tender.
He added that the regulator has 20 working days to give its opinion to the Government, to be followed by a public consultation. The executive branch will then announce the opening of the tender, with the ERC being responsible for the selection of the bids and the granting of the licences.
However, Figueiredo admits that is unlikely that the procedures will be completed “in four months”.
According to daily Correio de Manha, if there are no obstacles, the tender could be opened in February 2019 and the licences granted in July. From then, the winners have 12 months to start their broadcasts – i.e. only in 2020. By then, Portugal plans to migrate DTT broadcasting from SFN to MFN, allowing for better reception.