Prisa sells off Portugal network

Media Capital unloads analog broadcaster

LISBON — Portugal’s Media Capital, owned by Spanish media giant Prisa, has sold its analog terrestrial broadcasting network to Portugal Telecom, which already transmits the country’s other three analog channels — RTP1 and 2 and SIC. 

This move is a crucial step before the April 23 bid deadline for a 15-year transmission license for the new digital terrestrial TV platform.

PT has permission from RTP, SIC and TVI to carry their channels on the new DTT platform.

PT is likely to bid for a 40-channel bouquet and will consider bidding for the license for Portugal’s fifth free-to-air channel when the auction is launched sometime in the next six months. PT shares rose 1% on the news.

It is now very likely that PT will secure the DTT transmission license, positioning itself as the key competitor to Zon Multimedia (formerly known as PT Multimedia), that reps over 80% of Portugal’s cable and satellite business.

PT is already promoting a triple-play IPTV service, Meo, available via its ADLS and mobile phone networks.

Both PT and Zon Multimedia share the same core shareholders and the latest news will do nothing to assuage criticism of lack of competition in the Portuguese market.

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