According to HN daily, Parliament approved amendment to digital broadcasting bill, which sets an end of analogue broadcasting at October 2010. TV Nova and TV Prima will each get one compensation license as exchange for giving up their current analogue license. TV Prima will have to continue to provide air-time to regional broadcasting. Besides that, the limit for advertisement on public Czech TV (CT) would increase from previous 0.5% to 0.75% on CT’s first channel and on others from 0% to 0.5% on other CT’s channels. There are currently six TV stations that would like to start digital broadcasting: Febio TV, Ocko, TV Barrandov, Z1, RTA and TV Pohoda. ¨
Our view: We view the news as neutral. Please note that Czech Telecommunication Office (CTO) still sees October 2010 deadline as technically not feasible and counts with more realistic deadline in 2012. The bill on the switch to digital broadcasting has been discussed for a long time and the current version seems to be neutral for current commercial TV stations, which includes CME’s TV Nova. Newcomers among commercial TV broadcasters represent some threat in splitting the advertisement pie, however, they are unlikely to gain a critical mass to compete with TV Nova on a real terms. Increasing limits on state channels to 0.75% seems negligible, as it compares with a 12% limit for commercial stations.