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BNT unlikely to go digital in 2008

Date: 11.11.2007

The Bulgarian National Television (BNT) was unlikely to start digital broadcasts in 2008, Dnevnik business daily reported on November 9 2007. The reason was that the national television said it would need 280 million leva to carry out the digitisation whereas the finance ministry has allocated only 16 million leva for the purpose. BNT said it would not be able to start digital broadcasts on time.

In response to a query from Dnevnik business daily, the Finance Ministry explained it was yet to get acquainted with the state concept for digital terrestrial broadcasting and that it did not yet know who to give how much money.

The BNT budget was also rejected by the Commission for Communications Regulation and the Council for Electronic Media. Both authorities believe dthat BNT should start broadcasting in digital format, but in a later stage.

In related news, the defence ministry was unlikely to get 300 million leva, as it requested. Its budget featured 70 million leva for the release of frequencies. The finance ministry said that the defence ministry's request was exaggerated and it should find the money for digitisation and related communications problems on its own.

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