TV3 to end free transmissions, ETV could follow in a decade ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonian politicans say it would be impractical and useless to ban propagandistic television broadcasts.
Estonian politicans say it would be impractical and useless to ban propagandistic television broadcasts. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

TV3, one of the two largest commercial television channels, said it will stop free transmissions and leave DTT, the digital terrestrial television platform on July 1 this year.

The move means TV3 will only be available for a fee through operators or online, leaving only Kanal 2, ETV, ETV 2, Tallinn TV and France 24 available for free viewing across the nation.

Currently between 100,000-150,000 people only have the free-view channels available at home and will have to sign up with an operator if they want to continue watching TV3.

Kanal 2, which threatened with a similar move in 2012, could also stop free transmissions while ERR CEO Margus Allkimaa said the ETV channels could also follow suit as taxpayers might not want to stump up the fees for DTT.

Allikmaa said ERR, which is also the umbrella organization for ERR News, will not propose the idea itself but the state could review the decision on DTT. He said the question is likely to be raised in the 10-year-perspective, not in the next few years.

TV3 announced the decision today, saying DTT is too expensive and all private television channels in Estonian have recorded losses in the past four years.

Editor: J.M. Laats