Portuguese broadcasters question future of DTT
May 11, 2023
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Portuguese media group Media Capital (which owns commercial channel TVI) is considering pulling out of DTT broadcasting, said CEO Pedro Morais Leitão during the ‘Congress of Digital Business’ in Lisbon.
According to Morais Leitão, it is necessary to rethink DTT, a technology in which Media Capital – together with Impresa (owner of the SIC channel) and public broadcaster RTP – invest €9 million every year to air their TV channels to just 150,000 viewers in Portugal. He said there are more effective alternative ways to distribute TV, such as the Internet.
Morais Leitão estimates that 25 per cent of the traditional TV market has already passed into the hands of streaming platforms, adding that he sees partnerships as a solution because “it is not worth competing with global giants.”
His views were echoed by the CEO of Impresa, Francisco Pedro Balsemão, who stressed that broadcasters “are paying too much for what DTT offers” and that a “wider discussion is needed”.
For his part, RTP CEO Nicolau Santos admitted that DTT represents “an excessive cost” and proposed that the three operators should create a joint platform.
DTT has never really taken off in Portugal and has been faced with dwindling viewers and competition from OTT services.
The DTT network operator licence expires this year, and Altice Portugal has already requested a renewal from regulator Anacom.