The interior ministry added new details to its proposal for awarding three digital channels to TV Nova and TV Prima, if they agree to return their analogue licenses by September 9th, 2009. If they refuse, the administration threatened to drastically raise the cost of analogue broadcasting or transfer all allowable advertising airtime to digital channels. The new digital channels would be given a five-year transitional license and could start broadcasting even by in late-summer of this year, if the proposal passes.
Our view: We view the news as neutral. We doubt that the state would be successful in carrying its threats. Please note that the latest attempt to forcefully change the terms of TV Nova broadcasting license has been blocked by the court. We believe that the TV Nova could negotiate a good deal, opening new opportunities for launching thematic channels, and delaying the starting positions for the competition. In its initial reaction, TV Nova management reacted positively to the proposal.