MYTV needs to meet DTT rollout deadline

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will take action against MYTV Broadcasting Sdn Bhd should it fail to complete the digital terrestrial television (DTT) rollout before the first quarter 2019 deadline.

“There are provisions in the legal documentation which will allow the government to take action in the event of failure,” said MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak.

Asked whether the DTT contract would be opened for tendering in the event of MYTV’s failure, Al-Ishsal said: “in the event of failure, all options will be considered. At the moment, the project is on track.”

He also emphasised that the analog switch-off (ASO) date remained as of the first quarter of 2019.

Over the past few weeks, there have been ongoing payment disputes between MYTV and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), which has resulted in 20 broadcasting sites being shut down and free-to-air services in a few areas to be disrupted.

On Nov 3, MYTV sought the MCMC’s intervention to help resolve ongoing disputes with TM.

StarBiz reported that services for the free-to-air TV migration from analogue to digital were suspended in several states over disputes of non-payment between MYTV and TM.

Hundreds of viewers in Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Melaka and Perak were affected.

If not resolved soon, it could potentially result in a delay in the release of the 700MHz spectrum, where some RM5bil will be raised once the spectrum is allocated to the telcos.

Sources said MYTV might be delaying completion of works because of funding issues.

“MYTV has been bogged down by funding issues since it started, but it became worse recently. It is now heavily in debt with several of its vendors,” said a source.

MYTV CEO Michael Chan could not be reached for comments at press time.

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