On 31 July, TVP and Emitel concluded a contract for broadcasting TVP programmes via the third Digital Terrestrial Television multiplex (MUX-3). The contract covers not only the provision of the television programme broadcasting service, but also the change of the broadcasting and coding standard, which will be carried out in 2022. The contract was concluded for 10 years.

The contract covers the broadcasting of TVP programmes via MUX-3, the development of an ICT platform to ensure the transmission of production signals between the field branches and the broadcaster’s headquarters, and includes provisions pertaining to the change of the broadcasting and coding standard from DVB-T/MPEG-4 to DVB-T2/HEVC. Channel changes within the framework of the refarming process are carried out in stages, which are to take place in 2020 and 2022. The change of the broadcasting standard will take place in 2022.

“I am pleased to sign a new agreement with Emitel, our long-standing, proven partner”, said Jacek Kurski, acting President of TVP S.A. “By concluding a long-term contract for digital broadcasting of Telewizja Polska programmes via MUX-3, we are fulfilling the mission of a public broadcaster by guaranteeing viewers free access to our programmes throughout Poland. By continuing our cooperation with Emitel, we also make sure that Poles have universal access to the latest technologies, such as hybrid broadcast TV, and we ensure further development of digital terrestrial television by changing the broadcasting standard within two years. Thanks to this, viewers will be able to enjoy free access to more attractive content in the best quality – both HD and 4K – offered by Telewizja Polska.”

“The conclusion of a new 10-year agreement and the continued cooperation with our strategic partner – Telewizja Polska S.A. – is a key event for Emitel. At the same time, it is an opportunity to jointly develop digital terrestrial television, which is very popular among Polish viewers. The planned change of the broadcasting standard to DVB-T2/HEVC will allow the broadcaster to develop their content distribution platform, which will benefit viewers in Poland”, said Andrzej J. Kozłowski, President of the Management Board of Emitel S.A.

The conclusion of the new contract means continued cooperation between TVP and Emitel. The previous agreement was in force since 2010 and concerned the design and construction of a DVB-T broadcasting network, as well as provision of the MUX-3 signal broadcasting service. Thanks to the cooperation with Emitel, the public broadcaster has changed the standard of television broadcasting from analogue to digital.

Digital Terrestrial Television remains a very popular platform for receiving TV broadcasts in Poland, allowing viewers to receive nearly 30 free programmes. Terrestrial television is the most important platform used by the public broadcaster to distribute their content. Nearly 100% of the country’s population is within the range of MUX-3 transmitters. Thanks to free reception from traditional antennas, millions of viewers in Poland can enjoy the popular TVP programmes every day.

To date, terrestrial television, not only in Poland but also in Europe, has used frequencies in the range of 470 – 790 MHz for terrestrial broadcasting. According to the European Commission’s decision, all Member States must free up the 700 MHz band, which will be used by mobile operators for developing their 5G networks. This means that the broadcasting network has to be rebuilt and the broadcasting of terrestrial television programmes in Poland has to be moved to other frequencies. In consultation with market regulators, the completion of this project has been planned in several stages, and the entire project will be completed in June 2022. At that point, the broadcasting standard will be switched to DVB-T2 /HEVC. Compared to the current standard (DVB-T/MPEG-4), DVB-T2/HEVC allows more efficient use of the available frequencies and increase the number of available channels.

MUX-3 currently broadcasts the following public television channels: TVP1 HD, TVP2 HD, TVP Info HD, TVP Sport HD, TVP Historia and TVP3.