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An interesting bit of news on the RTL Group site, whilst Terrestrial broadcasting over air has not got the historic base that it has in much of the rest of europe, it is nonetheless interesting to see how little importance RTL are placing on it.
http://www.rtlgroup.com/www/htm/home_news.aspx?ID=5485A79C32094859A57C4F82273883C5DVB-T programme distribution expires at the end of 2014
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland currently sees no economically reasonable option for continuing digital terrestrial television based on DVB-T, the digital terrestrial television offered in Germany.
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s current agreements to disseminate its RTL Television, Vox, Super RTL and RTL II programmes, as well as N-TV in Berlin, will thus expire on 31 December 2014. In the Greater Munich Area, the agreement expires on 31 May 2013. Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland gives three reasons for its decision:
In contrast to digital cable, IPTV and satellite, DVB-T offers significantly lower bandwidth for programme transmission. For instance, DVB-T users currently receive an average of 30 programmes, while viewers can receive an average of 93 programmes via digital cable and an average of 117 via digital satellite. This limited bandwidth also means that it isn’t possible to broadcast programmes in stunning HD quality on DVB-T while keeping the number of channels constant. Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland therefore believes that DVB-T is not a future-proof method of transmission compared to the existing ones.
Although terrestrial transmission began over ten years ago, the average total market share contribution of DVB-T to Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s channels in 2012 was just 4.2 per cent. Apart from the lack of development prospects, DVB-T is by far the most expensive and therefore most uneconomical of all methods of transmission. The cost per household reached by DVB-T is many times higher than that of cable or satellite – while simultaneously offering a much smaller range of channels.
Besides the aforementioned strategic and economic reasons, experts have also repeatedly pointed out that the maintenance of this method of transmission also requires political planning security beyond 2020. But even this basic requirement has not yet been met. As early as 2010, with the ‘Digital Dividend 1’ the company already realised that there would be no assistance forthcoming from federal or state governments for maintaining the frequencies, nor would there be compensation for the frequency spectrum that was taken away from broadcasting.
In general, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland believes that will continue to make sense for broadcasting as well as for mobile use.