The transition to digital broadcasting has suffered a blow in the Czech Republic with the closure of the news-based station Z1.
Owned by the J&T financial group, it was one of six to be awarded digital TV licences in 2006. These were subsequently withdrawn following protests from the country’s existing commercial broadcasters but then reinstated.
As a result, it did not make its debut until 2008, and despite restructuring last year continued to face serious financial difficulties, reportedly losing over CZK100 million (€4.1 million).
Only one of the six digital TV licence holders – TV Barrandov – now finds itself on the Czech DTT platform, which is otherwise occupied almost exclusively by channels from the public broadcaster CT and national commercial stations TV Nova and Prima TV.