The association of German cable operators ANGA is pleased with the recent ruling of the European Commission, which prohibits DTT subsidies to private broadcasters by the state of Nord Rhine Westphalia. The state’s media authority Landesanstalt für Medien NRW (LfM) on the other hand is ‘disappointed’ by the ruling.
ANGA president Thomas Braun said in a prepared statement: “The decision of the European Union commission is an important reminder to keep competitive conditions fair in the digitisation process. The one-sided subsidy for DTT is and remains illegal. Our commitment for technology-neutral media guidelines was again confirmed. This must also apply to DVB-H.”
Norbert Schneider, director of the LfM, was disappointed. “The decision of the Commission does not comply with EU rules concerning subsidies. We don’t know the exact considerations yet, but we will study them.”
According to Schneider the three methods of distribution (cable, satellite, terrestrial) should not be treated equally, as DTT is clearly the weakest link.
According to Schneider, private broadcasters should receive subsidies in order to give them the same DTT coverage as the public broadcasters enjoy.