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Moldova 2 and NTV Moldova Will Broadcast in Digital Format with National Coverage

25 February 2020
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Five days before the suspension of the analog terrestrial TV signal, a deadline set previously by the authorities, one more public TV channel, Moldova 2, together with NTV Moldova channel, affiliated with the Socialists, won the contest organized by the Broadcasting Council (BC) to be included in the Multiplex A, which broadcasts in open digital format and is free for viewers. Thus, the two TV channels extended their coverage over 80% of the territory of the Republic of Moldova having access to about 85% of the country’s population. 
Five TV channels – Moldova 2, Accent TV, NTV Moldova, Canal 5 and Familia Domashniy – participated in the contest for filling two free slots in the Multiplex A. Moldova 2 and NTV Moldova won unanimously. 

Dragos Vicol, the BC Chair, stated among others, that he voted for NTV Moldova, the TV channel owned by the socialist, Corneliu Furculita, because ‘I didn’t saw such investigations (...) at other TV channels’. The member of BC, Artur Cozma, reminded the broadcasters that they should broadcast more domestic content in Romanian. 

The Multiplex a has a broadcasting capacity for 15 slots out of which 13 were occupied. In fact, only eight of them use this frequency – Moldova 1, Primul in Moldova, TVR Moldova, Prime, Publika TV, Canal 2, Canal 3 and CTC Mega. The Head of Radiocomunicații enterprise, Mihail Iacob, told Media Azi that five TV channels (ITV, Agro TV, N4, Jurnal TV and TV 8) obtained the right to broadcast in the Multiplex A, but they still don’t broadcast content in this format. 

Mihail Iacob claims that the enterprise created so far two multiplexes (A and B), both functional and that the coverage rate of the first is 97% of the country’s territory and gives access to 96% of the population. The civil servant emphasizes that once the analog terrestrial TV signal is suspended on 1 March as promised by the authorities, the maintenance costs of digital infrastructure will rise. 

Currently, a TV channel must pay EUR 5,600 monthly for a slot in the Multiplex A (if all 15 slots are occupied). After the suspension of the analog terrestrial TV signal, the tariff will be EUR 9,900 per month. When the coverage rate of the digital signal will reach 99% of the country’s population, the costs will increase by 11,100 for a slot.

To ensure free access to digital terrestrial television, the Government distributed previously 9,000 DTV converters to families that benefit from social aid and started the procurement of another 30,000 converters. Meanwhile, a share of the population that has old type of TVs that cannot receive digital signal could be left without access to information for now. The Ministry of Economy promises that all the necessary devices will be distributed among citizens by May.