When Governments makes telly
Digitalizing of the tv-signals. Upgrade the stream of enjoyment to the people. High-Definition technology. It sounds like music in the ears of politicians. And that was why they started the process of shutting down the analouge network, and build the «digital ground-network». A 1.5 billion Norwegian Chrownes ($ 225m)
investment was made. But, the network has severe problems. Not only is the costs readjusted to about two billions NOK, they do also need another 300 000 customers in order to run effectively. A huge loss was made to commercial companies when the shut down was made. Riks-TV, the company in charge, wanted to get most of these customers formerly using the analouge network. About 100 000 customers found parabola and fibre-TV more interesting, and jumped straight to these instead of getting a contract with Riks-TV.
So far they do only have 200 000 paying. To get more will be difficult. Next year, Norways largest commercial television station, tv2, will probably pull out of the RiksTV-package at the end of 2009, making it even less attractive to new customers. This makes Riks-TV cry out for a needed monopoly. «We do not believe it would be space for two pay-TV companies on the ground-network. The capacity is too small. If we would have to share that with another company, both of us could go bankrupt», the CEO of Riks-TV, Espen Thorsby says to Teknisk Ukeblad.
Overall, it seems like this has been more of a politicial prestique project than something one really thought you could make money on, something the cryout for monopoly on the network makes clear. Also, several competitiors and good alternatives comes on the market, making a monopoly nothing but a way to serve a really bad product to those who cannot get anything else. Another company on the ground-network is the least you can do to better the situation. The best thing would of course not build this network at all – it is clearly not sustainable the way its built.
However, according to the same magazine, a bust is inthinkable. The political presitque is too big, it would be politicial suicide to admit that this project did not turn out the way it did.
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