Excerpts from SBD Blog:
DAB in Germany is about to enter a critical few months. In 2008 the governmental body in charge of funding public broadcasters, Kommission zur Ermittlung des Finanzbedarfes (KEF) put a freeze on funding for DAB expansion due to the slow growth in services and receivers. On the 15th of December 2010, the KEF will review this decision one last time, and it could either be great news for DAB, or very bad news.
Scenario 1: Good news for DAB
In parallel to the KEF’s decision, the public broadcasters have been in discussions with private broadcasters and Mediabroadcast (a radio multiplex operator) to collaboratively deploy a new and improved national network based on the more efficient DAB+ standard.
An initial tender for the DAB multiplex attracted various private broadcasters, and Mediabroadcast is negotiating with these broadcasters to agree on the cost of deploying and maintaining the new network. If the negotiations are successfully completed before the KEF meets in December, the KEF is expected to re-start the funding so that public broadcasters can also support the deployment of the new national network.
There has also been a great deal of publicity surrounding a new proposed law that would mandate DAB on all cars from 2015. The viability of this law is dependent on the KEF’s decision and the negotiations surrounding the new national DAB+ network.
Scenario 2: Bad news for DAB
If Mediabroadcast is unable to reach an agreement with private broadcasters for the deployment of the new national DAB+ network by mid-December, then it may be the last nail in the coffin for DAB in Germany. The KEF will most likely refuse to re-start DAB funding for public broadcasters, and under such circumstances it is almost inconceivable that the government would legislate DAB in the car.