Television in Portugal

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Television in Portugal was introduced in 1956 (test broadcasts) by Radiotelevisão Portuguesa (now named Rádio e Televisão de Portugal), which held the nation-wide television monopoly until late 1992. Regular broadcasting was introduced on March 7, 1957. Colour transmissions were introduced on March 10, 1980.

Digital television as TDT was introduced at a very late stage when compared to other countries in Europe. It was planned to be introduced as early as 2002, this only became true in cable services and as of 2007, TDT was delayed until late 2008. Portuguese television is regulated by the Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social (ERC).[1] In 2007, TVI was the ratings leader with 29% share while RTP1, SIC and RTP2 had 25.2%, 25.1% and 5.2%, respectively.[2]


On March 7, 1957 public broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) began broadcasting RTP1, the first television channel in the country. A second RTP channel, RTP2, started broadcasting on December 25, 1968. Private commercial channels were launched in the early 1990s, with SIC on October 6, 1992 and TVI on February 20, 1993.


Analog broadcasts in Portugal was discontinued on April 26, 2012.

See Digital terrestrial television in Portugal

List of free-to-air terrestrial channels[edit]

  • RTP1: the flagship channel of RTP, the Portuguese public broadcasting corporation, and presents a general programming composed mainly by news, talk shows, discussion-based programmes, national and international fiction and drama and entertainment. It is the third most watched TV channel in Portugal.
  • RTP2: the second channel of Portuguese television. It focuses more on intellectual and cultural programming, as well as children and documentary programmes. It is the only terrestrial channel in Portugal that broadcasts international (mostly American) TV-series during the prime-time. The least watched terrestrial station in Portugal.
  • SIC: first private television station in Portugal. It broadcasts mainly Brazilian telenovelas and long talk shows (more than 8 hours every day), talent shows, as well as themed programming. Like competitor TVI, SIC does not broadcast many international TV-series during prime-time. The channel is the second most popular channel in Portugal.
  • TVI: second private station in Portugal. It focuses mainly on Portuguese telenovelas (usually 5 or more in production at the same time), as well as talk-shows. These talk-shows account for more than 45% of TVI's programming and concentrate mainly on human interest stories, while the other 55% comprises telenovelas. It is also well known for its popular reality shows. The primary target audience of TVI are housewives and the elderly. It is the most watched TV channel in Portugal with a 28% audience share.
  • ARTV: a public TV channel that broadcasts the sessions of Assembly of the Republic.

HD broadcasts[edit]

As of worldwide sport events, the common broadcasters usually start a temporary HD channel for subscription digital television users.

  • For the UEFA Euro 2008, TVI launched TVI HD to broadcast the event in HD (although you could also see the channel 24 hours).
  • Also for the UEFA Euro 2008, SportTV launched an HD simulcast of SportTV 1.
  • For the Beijing Olympics 2008, RTP has launched RTP HD, but this one had non-continuous programming, broadcasting only the Olympics (which come to air very late night) and some RTP2 sports programing during the day, pausing in the morning to around 15 (3 p.m) for Desporto 2 and then stopping again until 21 (9 p.m) to show prime-time during the week and movies during weekend. Night was filled with the Olympics from 0 to 2 (12 am to 2 am) with reruns and 2 to 7 am with live events.
  • MOV also launched a HD channel in 2008.
  • In the beginning of 2009 the all-native HD SportTV HD started broadcasting.
  • Also in 2009, RTP relaunched RTP HD, now with a different name, RTP1 HD (name still used for some sports broadcasts, since the channel was again renamed RTP HD).
  • SIC also start test broadcasts in 2009, with UEFA Europa League broadcasts but didn't proceed.
  • Thematic channels, AXN, FOX, FOX Life, TVCine, Syfy Universal, also started their HD broadcasts in 2009.
  • A HD channel is present on Digital Terrestrial Television but has never broadcast.


Optimus Clix has launched in 2006 a service called SmarTV (rebranded as Optimus Clix TV), provided on Amino and Motorola STBs, with VoD provided by Kasenna MediaBase video servers. PT Comunicações (Portugal Telecom) has also launched one called meo, providing that the spin-off of subsidiary PT Multimédia was concluded. Vodafone also launched an IPTV service called Vodafone Casa TV.


All cable providers in Portugal are slowly introducing digital television. ZON has already started one since 2003, but is quite poor in amount of channels.


Digital satellite services have existed since 1998. Currently, the providers are ZON and meo operating in Hispasat.

Mobile TV[edit]

All operators have mobile TV under UMTS platforms.

Most-viewed channels[edit]

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  TVI (22.3%)
  SIC (19.3%)
  RTP1 (13.7%)
  RTP2 (2.5%)
  Canal Hollywood (2.4%)
  Disney Channel (2.3%)
  SIC Notícias (1.9%)
  Canal Panda (1.8%)
  AXN (1.7%)
  Cable/Others (32.1%)

Monthly viewing shares in August 2013:[3]

Position Channel Group Share of
total viewing (%)
1 TVI Media Capital (PRISA) 22.3 %
2 SIC Impresa 19.3 %
3 RTP1 Rádio e Televisão de Portugal 13.7 %
4 RTP2 Rádio e Televisão de Portugal 2.5 %
5 Canal Hollywood Dreamia (ZON Multimédia and Chello Multicanal) 2.4 %
6 Disney Channel The Walt Disney Company 2.3 %
7 SIC Notícias Impresa 1.9 %
8 Canal Panda Dreamia (ZON Multimédia and Chello Multicanal) 1.8 %
9 AXN Sony Pictures Entertainment 1.7 %
10 FOX Fox International Channels Portugal 1.3 %
11 TVI24 Media Capital (PRISA) 1.2 %
12 RTP Informação Rádio e Televisão de Portugal 1.2 %
13 Disney Junior The Walt Disney Company 1.2 %
14 TV Record Europa Rede Record 1.0 %
15 SIC Mulher Impresa 0.8 %

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official site of the Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social (Portuguese)
  2. ^ O primeiro dia da Quatro in Correio da Manhã, February 15, 2008. Accessed on February 22, 2008. (Portuguese)
  3. ^ "Médias de agosto: TVI mantém liderança e "Dancin' Days" é o programa mais visto". 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2014-01-06.  (Portuguese)

External links[edit]