Bulgaria to spend a further million leva on digital TV decoder debacle

Having already spent about 17 million leva (about 8.5 million euro) on advertising to explain the switchover from analogue to digital broadcast transmissions, Bulgaria intends handing over a further million leva in print advertising, it emerged on October 8 2013.

The previously-delayed switchover to digital television broadcasting took effect at the end of September, leaving large numbers of Bulgarians without a television signal, in spite of a campaign to hand out decoders to low-income households.

The numbers of people affected are disputed, but for several days television stations have been running reports of people in villages left with only white noise on their screens – and no possibility of watching the reports about their plight.

According to a report by Bulgarian-language site Mediapool, citing the website of the Transport Ministry and the Public Procurement Register, the ministry is offering a new express order to allocate a further million leva to print media advertising.

The main purpose of the contract is for print media advertising to inform people about the switchover.

The idea, apparently, is that newspapers and magazines will have the best reach in telling people about the workings of decoders and antennas.

The deadline for submission of proposals is November 1 2013 and bids will be opened on November 4. The deadline for implementation of the contract is December 15.

Bulgaria’s multiplex operators say that about 100 000 people are without television signals, though estimates are that the number could be higher, taking into account those who could not afford to buy decoders to enable their older TV sets to get the new signal.

Bulgaria’s authorities have hailed the switchover as a great success, a claim with which people in small towns and remote villages do not seem to agree, as they are left with pixellated screens on their goggleboxes.

(Photo: Gustavo Padgett)




The Sofia Globe staff

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