Italian DTT Broadcasting – Another chapter to the LCN saga!

The Italian Council of State (Consiglio di Stato) finally published the long awaited decision on the “Telenorba Case”.

As you recall from our previous posts, Telenorba appealed against the second LCN plan before the Council of State, maintaining that the Italian Communications Authority (Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni, “AGCOM”) – in setting up such second plan – did not implement the requirements laid down in the Council of State judgments that annulled the first LCN plan. In particular, Telenorba claimed that the LCN positions 8 and 9 should have been awarded to local broadcasters rather than to national broadcasters.

The Council of State did not cancel the second LCN plan, but decided to appoint a Rome University professor as “commissioner” (commissario ad acta) with the task to decide the allocation of LCN positions 8 and 9.

So this decision neither cancelled the whole plan or revoked any LCN number, but left it up to a commissioner to decide whether to confirm the current LCN numbers for MTV and Deejay Television, or to reallocate one or more numbers to a local broadcaster.

The commissioner will now have 90 days from the appointment to come up with a solution. As specifically requested by the Council of State, such solution will have to be based on an assessment of the viewers’ habits as at year 2010, instead of year 2013. To achieve a solution the commissioner may proceed with another survey or further assess the previous survey results.

Whatever the outcome, any solution will not put an end to the LCN saga, given that a number of other appeals remain pending against the current LCN plan.

Does it really make sense to proceed now with a review of the year 2010 viewers’ habits? How can this be achieved?