Spain bringing digital switch forward? | News | Rapid TV News
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Spain's official analogue switch-off is scheduled for April 3 but in order to secure a total success the government plans to bring it forward.

According to sources from the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce quoted in the newspaper Expansión, Minister Miguel Sebastián has informed all the broadcasters of his intention to bring the switch-off date forward to March 30. The goal of this is to avoid a clash with Easter which begins on April 1.

The government forecasts massive demand for DTT boxes in the final days before switch off and if this demand coincides with Easter, the success of switchover could be jeopardised. So now the cabinet is negotiating with TV channels on the best way to communicate this move.

Switch off will begin from those areas still broadcasting in analogue which belong to the third official phase of the switch over. This third phase will terminate on March 10.

By the end of January, 32% of the country's population and more than half of the cities watched television just on DTT. According to Impulsa TDT's latest figures, 85.4% of Spaniard homes have access to the digital channels and the DTT audience share was 53.4% compared with 24.9% of analogue television.

Moreover and according to Impulsa TDT, last October a total of 785,000 new DTT boxes were sold so the total accumulated sales of this type of equipments is near 24.2 million units.

But this operation of bringing the analogue switch off forward will be made without risking the television coverage in the whole country according to the government because the public broadcasters are obliged to reach 98% of coverage and the private ones are obliged to reach 96% of total coverage by law.

© Rapid TV News 2010