Many independent network operators already transmit local channels without charging carriage fees from the broadcasters, BLTV stated at the presentation of its priorities for 2016 in Berlin. The government and the media authorities should now ensure that this becomes a nationwide requirement, said BLTV chairman René Falkner.
BLTV also demanded a subsidy scheme for HD enabling local broadcasters to offer their channels in high-definition quality. “HD is the new standard and local TV has to be part of it,” stressed Falkner. But for most local channels, there was currently no possibility for HD transmissions on cable. The association suggests a “scrappage bonus for analogue distribution” to support the transition to digital, unencrypted HD cable transmissions.
BLTV also demands equal treatment between TV and radio broadcasters on one side and online media on the other as there was currently “unfair competition” between the two types of media. For example, web portals were allowed forms of advertising unavailable to traditional broadcasters.
In particular on local level, the local broadcasters would therefore lose advertising income to competitors from the internet and on Facebook, criticises BLTV. The association demands the creation of new laws ensuring fair competition.