A study by the Superintendency of Competition highlights concentration in the market for broadcast TV and suggests accelerating the transition to digital in order to incorporate new operators.
The full report has not yet been released by the Superintendency of Competition (SC), but it has been revealed that the main point is the strong concentration in the market, which could be reduced if it faster progress is made in moving towards a scheme of digital television, allowing the entry of more operators. One alternative is to reserve part of the spectrum for the entry of future operators.
More choice and diversity in programming characterize a market where, of the 15 licenses granted, eight are in operation three are 'Preparing for Entry' and four have stopped operating.
According to statistics from the National Institute of Statistics and Census of the Comptroller General of the Republic, there are currently 919,000 TV users, of which 46% watch cable TV, ie there are 423,000 households with cable TV service.
While mobile and internet operators are asking for more spectrum, concessionaires of radio and television are under utilizing the frequencies assigned to them.
The Superintendency of Telecommunications said radio and television concessionaires are under utilizing the spectrum frequencies assigned to them. '... In radio about 90% of the concessionaires have less than 50% coverage and in television only 6.9% of television channels exceed 70% of coverage assigned on the authorization certificates. "
Small television broadcasters in Costa Rica are planning to join forces and obtain international financing to acquire the necessary funds to adapt to digital technologies.
Companies operating regional television channels in the country, which have more limited budgets and reduced ability to access financing, are contacting their peers in order to join forces and improve conditions for international loans and buy the equipment to make the transition from analog to digital signals.
The concession which moved channel 37 to channel 11 has been revoked, after businesses from the sector complained that the award was illegal and went against free competition.
The Superintendency of Electricity and Telecommunications (SIGET) reversed the decision issued by Astor Escalante, former head of the institution, which agreed to the transfer of channel 37 to channel 11.
The National Telecommunications Commission has awarded another 5 regional digital television channels completing the concessionary awards of 18 frequencies and raising a total of $5 million.
Channel 47 in zone 1 and with coverage in Francisco Morazán, was acquired by Publicaciones y Noticias S.A. (Publynsa) who offered $294,000. The auction for channel 46 was declared invalid and for 49 there were no bidders. These two also had coverage of Francisco Morazán and the price tag was $294,000.
An award has been made to Inversión Mundial S.A. of a 20-year concession for managing and operating a new bingo sweepstake that will be broadcast on television.
The company to which the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has awarded the concession is represented by Gabriel Elias Fernandez de Marco. The Panamanian government will receive 8% a month of the total amount collected from the four draws to be made.
From 3rd to 10th September, the National Telecommunications Commission of Honduras will be holding an auction of the 36 digital television frequencies and one national one.
An announcement has been made of the publication of tender specifications; "In order to be included participants must be up to date with payments to the state, have a radio or television company and pay the bid price, which for television ranges around $123,000," noted an article in Laprensa. hn.
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