Altice Portugal makes last minute decision to renew DTT licence

Portuguese media reports suggest Altice Portugal wants to renew its DTT licence. Having been set a deadline of December 9th to decide, the company has told regulator Anacom that it would like to extend the licence, which it has held since 2008.

According to news outlets Lusa and Dinheiro Vivo, an official source close to Anacom said: “Altice Portugal confirms that it has applied to the competent authorities for the renewal of the right to use DTT frequencies.” Under the current agreement between Altice and Anacom, the DTT licence is due to expire in October 2023.

The decision was not a foregone conclusion. Altice, which operates a DTT multiplex under the Meo brand, has had a rocky relationship with Anacom. In 2019, it complained of a breach of trust after the regulator told it to drop the price it charged for the transmission of channels operated by RTP, TVI and SIC. At that point, it said it was unlikely to renew its DTT licence with Anacom when the time came.

The situation has been more stable since then, with Anacom deciding to approve Meo’s charges in a July 2022 review. At that time, it concluded that “there are no indications that the prices charged by MEO for the provision of the DTT service were not in compliance with the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and pricing.”

Currently, Portuguese viewers can receive only six TV channels via DTT. It is not clear if Altice has plans to increase this number, assuming Anacom approves renewal.

Altice’s renewed interest will be welcomed by the Portuguese government which recently stated that it is committed to ensuring that DTT remains operational.

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