Cellnex demands 143MN compensation for Spain's DTT blackout

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 27 April 2015

Cellnex, the new terrestrial telecom Abertis subsidiary just about to go public, has filed a formal request demanding 143 million compensation from Spain's Government after 2014's DTT blackout which saw nine channel's closed.

According to what explained by the company in the initial public offering (IPO) document, Abertis's terrestrial unit was distributing signals for all nine channels which closed down May 24 2014; three from Atresmedia, and two from Mediaset, Veo TV and Net TV.

Cellnex points out the negative impact on the company's financial situation and calculates a yearly amount of 20 million for each multiplex which is now not being used. The nine signals were distributed divided into 2.25 multiplex, thus meaning Abertis would be actually losing 45 million a year.

Therefore, the 143 million compensation is an estimation, and the real amount will depend on how long the situation keeps going on. As Spain's Government plans to award six new DTT signals before the end of 2015, Cellnex admits the real compensation should be lower than the initially demanded amount.

Abertis intends to increase financial flexibility and market visibility through the next two years, according to its strategic plan until 2017. Having closing a deal with Italy's mobile operator WIND for mobile telecoms and controlling Hispasat and its direct-to-home (DTH), it seems to be time for reorganising terrestrial and DTT business in Spain.