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The Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council Tells why Ukraine Will not Switch from Analog to Digital Broadcasting this Year

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The termination of the transition from the analog to digital television in Ukraine will not be implemented either in 2017 or in 2018. This is reported by the Ukrinform, referring to the Chairman of the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council Iurii Artemenko.

“Acting as the head of the regulatory authority, I assure you so far unofficially that the transition to the digital will not take place on 30 June 2017. I am looking forward to the coming resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers that will reschedule the transition to the digital broadcasting for a certain date. My forecast is that it will not be earlier than 2019. That is, in 2018 this will not happen”, as Mr. Artemenko said.

He explained this by a number of reasons. The unavailability of infrastructure, the nontransparent owner of the digital network operator “Zeonbud”, the lacking number of set-top boxes, the incomplete coverage with the digital terrestrial signal, the unwillingness of some channels to switch to the digital and their obstruction of this process.

According to Mr. Artemenko, some channels do not desire a complete transition from analog to digital television, from a business point of view.

“For example, the “Inter Media Group” and the “1+1 Media” actually have the largest coverage in the analog format, since they occupied networks of UT-1, UT-2, and UT-3. And if they switch to the digital, they will all be equal, i.e. “Ukraina”, “ICTV”, “Inter”, and “1+1”, due to having the same coverage”, as the Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council stated.

Moreover, according to Mr. Artemenko, the very politicians are not interested in a full transition to the digital TV in the coming years as well.

“Considering that we are entering the stage of the scheduled elections in 2019, all political actors will be interested in “exploiting” the analog resource”, as the regulator’s head said.

At the same time, he pointed out that some TV channels, including many local ones, were interested in the early full transition to the digital TV, “because they pay for broadcasting both in the digital and analog format”.

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