The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has confirmed the decision of Boxer DTT Limited (‘Boxer’) to withdraw its applications for the three DTT Multiplex Contracts.
Boxer has cited 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.
Under the Broadcasting Act, 2007, RTÉ is required to provide a digital television service offering access to the Irish national channels - RTÉ, TG4 and TV3 - on a free to air basis. In addition, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, an independent regulatory body, is required to identify commercial DTT service providers.
In 2008, the BCI considered the applications received from three consortia (Boxer DTT, Easy TV and One Vision) and awarded the contract to Boxer in July.
The BCI is now seeking confirmation from One Vision (comprising of Eircom, TV3, Setanta and UK digital media company Arqiva); the second placed applicant in the DTT licensing competition; that it is interested in pursuing contract negotiations with the BCI and is in a position to do so, in the event that the BCI were to award, in principle, the contracts to One Vision.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Conor Maguire, Chairperson of the BCI said “Obviously the Commission is disappointed that this most recent development in relation to the commercial DTT multiplex contracts has occurred, and we are cognisant of the significant endeavours of all the parties involved to date. However the BCI is committed to pursuing its policy objectives with regard to digital terrestrial television and will continue its work in this regard.”