Portugal’s modest DTT offer, consisting of only seven TV channels, could soon be expanded with two regional TV channels from public broadcaster RTP.
The arrival of RTP Açores and RTP Madeira may end up being a compromise solution, as for the past three years the Portuguese government has promised the arrival of two new commercial TV channels, reports Economia Online.
In June 2016, the Council of Ministers approved the addition of four new DTT channels: two private and two private. Public channels RTP 3 and RTP Memória were added to Multiplex A at the end of that year.
Although the Regulatory Authority for Media (ERC) in 2018 defined that the two private channels will be dedicated to sports and news, the Government has continuously postponed the licensing process for the remaining two channels.
The Portuguese portal claims that the addition of two new commercial TV channels is not well seen by existing national broadcasters SIC (owned by Impresa) and TVI (Media Capital), as they believe it would further fragment the advertising market. In addition, it could open the door for a third player, Cofina, which owns Portugal’s most watched cable TV channel CMTV.
So far, both media groups have not committed themselves about their participation on a possible tender, nor has the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), which plans to launch sports channel Canal 11.
On the other hand, the launch of RTP Açores and RTP Madeira has been requested several times by the regional governments of both the Azores and of Madeira.