Advanced Television

Portugal sets up working group on DTT future

January 22, 2021

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

The Portuguese Government has announced it will set up an inter-ministerial working group to gather opinions and studies on the future of DTT in the country.

The news was announced by the Secretary of State for Cinema, Audiovisual and Media, Nuno Artur Silva, during a Parliamentary hearing.

He said that the group will prepare a report on the future of DTT that takes into account all possible options, including the introduction of DTT multiplex B and other issues. This informal working group will collect information from various entities, including the regulating bodies, operators and experts.

Last December, the Portuguese Government approved a resolution that foresees the expansion of the DTT offer with the addition of RTP Africa and Canal do Conhecimento. In addition, it authorizes public broadcaster RTP “to use the reserve capacity” earmarked for the RTP Memória channel, “entirely or partly, for the broadcasting of a channel for children and young people”.

Asked by MPs on the cost of the new DTT channels, Artur Silva recalled that RTP África already exists (on cable and satellite) and will require about €1.9 million annually for the distribution costs. He added that it is up to RTP to decide when to launch it on DTT during 2021.

In regards to Canal do Conhecimento, he said that it will arrive on DTT only after the renegotiation of the RTP’s concession contract is completed and “provided that the necessary financial conditions are met”. However, it is too early to provide a cost estimate, “as it has not yet been defined”.

Meanwhile, Although Portugal moved into a new lockdown on January 16th, TV audiences haven’t seen a significant rise. Compared to the first lockdown weekend in March 2020, TV consumption fell by 11 per cent. Although the negative trend is present across all distribution platforms, it is more significant among DTT viewers, according to Universal McCann audience analysis for local news portal Dinheiro Vivo.

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