This paper initially identifies the main transformations of the television system that are caused by digitalization. Its development in several broadcasting platforms is analyzed. Particular obstacles and requirements are detected for each of them. Due to its technical characteristics and its historical link to the public service, the terrestrial network requires migration strategies different from those strictly commercial and public intervention might be needed.
The paper focuses on such migration strategies towards DTT and identifies the main issues for public intervention in the areas of the digital scenario: technology, business and market transformation and the reception field. Moreover, the challenges that public broadcasters should confront due to digitalization are described and classified as well.
This paper concludes that the leadership of the public broadcasters during the migration towards DTT is an interesting tool for public policy. The need to foster the digitalization of the terrestrial platform and to achieve certain social and public goals besides the market interests brings an opportunity for public institutions and public broadcasters to work together. That leading role could also be positive for the public service to face its necessary redefinition and reallocation within the digital context.