DNA to close terrestrial TV network | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
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Making a pivot away of the distribution of TV services from traditional broadcasting to cable and broadband platforms, Finland’s DNA has revealed that it is to close its VHF frequency-based terrestrial network in July 2020, relinquishing its network licence for the company.

dna finland 29Oct2019DNA has provided HD TV services to terrestrial network households via its own VHF terrestrial TV network for almost ten years and in that time has made what it calls ‘significant’ investments in increasing the number of VHF antennae in Finland and selling capacity to broadcasters. Yet despite these efforts to attract customers paying for network capacity, who are key to the viability of the business, have not proved successful with the VHF network.

Pay channels currently on the VHF network will now be transferred to the UHF network with the new year, when the business acquisition between DNA and Digita, concerning terrestrial pay-TV operations, comes into force. Subscribers will be able to continue receiving these channels without interruption via an UHF antenna on their property. The distribution of Yle’s HD channels via DNA’s VHF network will continue for now, and future distribution plans will be announced separately. Distribution of MTV3 HD and TV5 HD free-to-air channels via the VHF network will cease at the end of 2019.

“Our objective was to bring competition to the Finnish terrestrial TV market, which has traditionally been dominated by one operator,” explained DNA’s senior vice president, consumer business Pekka Väisänen, explaining the decision to halt terrestrial services. “We wanted to challenge this monopoly in terms of both price and quality. We have succeeded in significantly expanding and improving the range of channels available in terrestrial households, as well as moving terrestrial TV distribution to HD, but unfortunately we were not able to bring on board the kind of network capacity customers key to making the business viable."

DNA Finland will no longer be negotiating new VHF network distribution contracts. When the network closes at the end of July 2020 it will also relinquish its network licence for VHF frequencies.