Czech switchover deadline is 'unrealistic'

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic's timetable for analogue switch-off is unrealistic and digital TV is "a fantasy", some of the country's leading television broadcasters have argued.

According to a report by the Prague Post newspaper, the country's two private TV stations, Nova (the Czech Republic's largest station based on market share) and Prima, have claimed the Czech Telecommunications Authority's schedule that will see the analogue broadcast signal cut off on 10 October 2010 is too soon because the digital television sector requires more time to develop and gain popularity.

Niche stations in particular need support, and without enough viewers advertising revenues will be insufficient, said Michael Garin, CEO of Nova-owner Central European Media Enterprises.

The paper's article quotes him as saying: "I am still not sure that in a country this small digital television 100% supported by advertising is a real business model. Digital TV is a fantasy".

However, the Prague Post goes on to report that the half a dozen businesses that earlier this year gained digital licences believe that Garin's company is simply attempting to stymie competition—and they would prefer an earlier switchover deadline of 2009 that would allow them to begin building an audience.

He added: "This schedule is still not acceptable to us. We will try to shorten the deadline".

Lovelace Consulting  |  14.08.2006

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