Finland’s DNA and Yle at loggerheads over DVB-T2 transition

Finnish service provider, broadcaster and digital-terrestrial transmission services provider DNA and the country’s public broadcaster Yle have become embroiled in a legal dispute that Yle says could delay the transition of the Finnish digital-terrestrial network to DVB-T2, enabling migration to an HD service.

DNA has filed a complaint with the country’s commercial court over the terms of Yle’s call for tenders for DVB-T2 distribution of its channels, which the service provider says runs contrary to the terms of the country’s procurement rules.

Yle had in February published and then suspended a tender for transition to DVB-T2, before publishing a new tender document this month. However, DNA claims that the tender favours its competitor Digita.

Pekka Väisänen, vice-president of DNA’s consumer business, said that the tender had “not changed substantially” from the February document and that it “continues to hinder competition”.

DNA claims that its own VHF-based transmission network is compatible with DVB-T2 and covers 85% of the country’s addressable service area. It says it is ready to expand the network further.

DNA and Yle signed a contract for the transmission of Yle’s channels in HD in 2016, which DNA says is valid until 2026. The service provider currently delivers 17 HD channels on its DTT network.

Yle says that its tender is designed to minimize the cost of transition to individual households. According to the public broadcaster, DNA has argued that the costs incurred by households should not have a bearing on the competitive tender process.

Janne Yli-Äyhö, production manager at Yle, said that the dispute concerned “how much of the cost of the shift [to DVB-T2] can be passed on to households” and that the starting point for the broadcaster is that this cost should be kept to a minimum.

Yli-Äyhö said that DNA’s move endangers the agreed timetable for the transition. He said it was unreasonable to expect Yle to bear the cost of enabling the exchange and installation of reception equipment at the household level.

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