OneVision in discussions with BCI over abandoned DTT licences

1 May 2009

A consortium consisting of Eircom, Setanta, TV3 and Arqiva have confirmed they are in talks with the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) about the three available digital terrestrial TV (DTT) contracts, following the Boxer consortium’s withdrawal from the DTT process.

In recent weeks, the Boxer DTT consortium, which included Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp, withdrew its application for the three DTT Multiplex contracts that were rewarded following a competition between a number of consortia last year.

In a statement, the BCI said that Boxer had decided to withdraw from the project citing “prevailing and anticipated economic circumstances, in addition to challenges in successfully concluding a contract with RTÉ Networks Limited, to the satisfaction of both parties, for the provision of transmission services.”

The Eircom, Setanta, TV3 and Arqiva consortium known as OneVision stated today that while the timelines for the DTT project have shifted and the economic environment has deteriorated, it remains positive about DTT and is ready to engage with the BCI to move the project forward.

“The OneVision shareholders have kept a watching brief on the process, and all recognise the strategic importance of the DTT project to Irish broadcasting and to ensuring diversity of choice and content to Irish television viewers.

“OneVision has been in touch with the BCI and has formally advised it of its decision,” the consortium stated.

It is understood that representatives of OneVision are planning to meet with the BCI to initiate the negotiations in the next week.

By John Kennedy