Polish Commercial Radio abandons digitalization working group
DIGITAL RADIO FM EUROPE – The Polish commercial radio community says it will suspend its work with Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji (KRRiT), the media authority, on the transition to DAB+.
KRRiT has received a letter signed by broadcasters from Group RMF, Radio Group Agora, Radio Group Time and Eurozet about the requirements of their engagement in the working group and the technical subcommittee. The signees complained that their opinions have been ignored.
The broadcasters confirmed this at a meeting discussing technical recommendations and usage requirements for digital radio implementation. The same meeting also considered the frequency management of two national DAB+ multiplexes reserved for commercial broadcasting. There are no state subsidies for a commercial radio transition process in Poland.
At a conference In May Andrzej Matuszyński, President of Eurozet Group, expressed broadcasters’concerns arise above all from the lack of a final switch-off date for analogue broadcasting. The economic costs associated with simultaneous broadcasting of a programme in both the analogue and digital systems, called simulcasting, are also a serious barrier. Another problem is the narrow product range and high price of radio receivers available on the Polish market. Commercial broadcasters also drew attention to the huge popularity of internet radio, which is successfully using and developing digital space.
The decision for commercial radio to leave the digitalisation process leaves public radio in an awkward position with a digital monopoly on the commercial market. Polish public radio is primarily funded by advertisement and only 30 % by licensee fees.