France Telecom backed Polish transmission company TP Emitel has launched a second DTT multiplex in four regions of Poland: Warsaw, Poznan, Zielona Gora, and Zagan. The plex includes eight channels, two from each of the country's national commercial stations: Polsat, TVN, TV 4 and PULS TV. TP Emitel already operates the country's first multiplex, launched at the end of 2009. According to the schedule presented by the company, multiplex 2 should reach a national coverage - from the initial 20 per cent of total households - by the end of 2011, with two regions left for 2013. TP Emitel also has a licence for multiplex 3, also allocated to public broadcaster TVP, which is planned to launch by the end of 2010.Analogue switch off is planned in Poland for mid 2013.
DTT in Poland was a long time coming. With the public broadcaster failing to complete procedures for public tenders, even last year's launch of multiplex 1 is still only really a test; especially as coverage couldn't be extended at the end of March 2010 as scheduled. Nonetheless, the launch of multiplex 2 is now the second good sign for DTT in Poland, after TP Emitel got a licence for the public multiplex in April this year and then signed a deal with Ericsson to implement its Net Insight technology. Currently, multichannel penetration in Poland exceeds 85 per cent of the total households. In spite of the launch of DTT, a number of the remaining 15 per cent will still take satellite TV rather than DTT, as the latter will be rolled out gradually. Details of the DTT information campaign and possible subsidies for set top boxes haven not yet been prepared. In addition all five of Poland's satellite operators are intensively marketing their services with many aggressive promotions. Pay satellite TV in Poland is in fact the platform which has already benefited most from the absence of DTT, gaining over 45 per cent of total homes. The late launch of DTT means that the platform will have to struggle for any considerable market share of primary homes, though it may be quite popular on the secondary TV sets.