Ireland’s communications regulator ComReg has published the details of its DTT licensing procedure. One multiplex licence will be issued to the public broadcaster RTE and a further three to the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI), which will then begin the licence award process among the commercial sector. It is expected the first official services will be on the air during 2008.
The licences will run for a period of 12 years and come with an annual licence fee for the holder of €114,000. A 50% discount will be applied in the start up phase running until July 1, 2012.
A 1,000 home DTT pilot will continue until 2008 and is transmitting from the Three Rock site in Dublin and the Clermont Carn site in County Louth. Content comes from public and commercial channels including RTÉ 1, RTÉ2, TV3, TG4, Channel 6, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News 24, Sky News, Sky Sports 1, Extreme Sports, Setanta Sports and UKTV History. Only the public channels RTÉ 1 and RTÉ2 are broadcast free-to-air, the others are encrypted.