Logical channel numbering on digital TV platforms is a hot topic in Serbia, once again. According to the latest available data, there are some 2.49 million households in the country, and more than 1.6 million cable, IPTV and satellite DTH subscribers. Some 48% of those subscribers are using the services of Serbia Broadband (SBB), a telecoms operator controlled by an American private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. On 15 March 2017 SBB decided to rearrange the logical numbering in their digital TV channels offering in a way that is believed to favor its own channels to the prejudice of public service broadcasters RTS and RTV.
The Law on Electronic Media (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 83/2014 and 6/2016), provides that it is the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media’s responsibility to determine logical channel numbering in more details, having in mind the nature of each TV service and their respective coverage zones. However, the Regulatory Authority failed to provide any such determination or guidance.
Živković Samardžić Technology, Media and Telecommunications Associate Miloš Stojković was amongst those speaking on the legal framework, the consequences of the SBB’s action and the lack of Regulatory Authority’s action, for the Oko magazin, public service broadcasters’ current affairs programme aired on 16 March 2016.
The programme is available on the public broadcaster’s web site at http://www.rts.rs/page/tv/ci/story/17/rts-1/2668005/oko-magazin-sta-sve-mozes-kad-si-kablovski-operator-u-srbiji.html.