Altice Portugal rejects reduction of DTT distribution fees
December 3, 2018
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Altice Portugal has criticised the decision of the National Communications Authority (Anacom) to cut the TV channel distribution fees by 15 per cent, considering the decision as “unfair, unfounded and negatively impacting the future of DTT in Portugal”.
It points out that the contract was signed between the operator and the State and now the regulator is unilateraly seeking to intervene, “to the detriment of quality of service and users”. The operator says that the prices charged are “well below those included in the winning bid for the Multiplex A licence” and that they were agreed with the broadcasters.
Altice Portugal points out that, as a result of Anacom’s decision, it will further increased the losses it has incurred with DTT, despite being in compliance with all its obligations of coverage. The operator recalls that, in 2017, it carried out re-engineering work to expand the number of TV channels available, leading to the addition of RTP3 and RTP Memoria, and that there are still conditions for the adding of two more channels.
Furthermore, it claims that it has made a number of improvements that have greatly increased DTT coverage, in particular through specific micro-overlays or elimination of interference zones.
For his part, Anacom president João Cadete de Matos rejected Altice’s accusation that the price cut will result in a “degradation” of the DTT service, ensuring there is no “reason for any concern”. He explained that Anacom decided to verify whether the price charged by the DTT network operator to broadcasters “was adjusted to the costs”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture has launched a public consultation, lasting until end-December, on the draft regulations for the two new DTT channels (one sports and the other dedicated to news). The broadcasters that are awarded the licence are required to have at least €1 million in capital.