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Media authority, Antenna Hungaria amend contract on digital broadcasting

Hungary's National Media and Telecommunications Authority (NMHH) and the Antenna Hungaria group have amended contracts signed in September 2008 on the operation of terrestrial digital television and radio concessions, NMHH said in a press release on Friday.

Antenna Hungaria has undertaken developments connected with the timing of the construction of terrestrial digital television networks beyond its undertakings in the earlier contract, NHH said without elaborating.

When winning the tender in 2008, Antenna Hungaria said it planned to spend more than HUF 25 billion on developments in the coming 4-5 years, and would build altogether 16 digital transmitters.

The contract will allow Antenna Hungaria to use 'B' multiplex, so far used to digital mobile television broadcasting (DVB-H) to terrestrial digital television broadcasting (DVB-T9), enabling the company to extend its services.

The two will also agreed to closely cooperate in the termination of analog services to ensure continued free services for the households affected.

The changes will help to carry out digital conversion, improve access of terrestrial digital broadcasting and foster competition among television broadcasting platforms, the press release said.

Digital terrestrial broadcast coverage in Hungary has reached 95% of the population, Antenna Hungaria Jean Francois Fenech announced late March this year. There is nothing in the way of shutting down analogue broadcasts in October 2012, he said.

Hungary has already indicated it would miss the deadline set by an EU directive to replace analogue television broadcasts with digital ones by the end of 2011.

Under the original contract digital radio coverage was rise from 38% of the population in 2008 to 94% in 2014.

Antenna Hungaria is owned by Telediffusion de France (TDF).