Commissioner Kroes Warned of Bulgarian Cable TV Dispute

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | December 23, 2012, Sunday // 18:24| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Commissioner Kroes Warned of Bulgarian Cable TV Dispute bTV Comedy is one of the TV channels in the bTV Media Group. File logo.

The recently erupted dispute between major Bulgarian TV network bTV and cable operators has been referred to EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Nellie Kroes by Bulgarian users.

"By boycotting cable network providers, bTV and TV7 have colluded in a cartel agreement with ulterior motives," stated the Bulgarian Association of Telecommunication and Internet Services Users Sunday.

Starting Saturday, both bTV and TV7 took off their channels from major cable provider Bulsatcom, citing breach of contract by failing to pay dues and quoting a lower than real number of users to reduce fees.

In response the 21-member Bulgarian Association of Cable Communication Operators (BACCO) announced it will have to suspend bTV and TV7 from their programs, as their actions constituted a cessation of contract.

"The compulsory package of all 6 bTV channels without options for buying rights on one or several of them, as well as new, unfulfillable conditions and now transparent fee with clear price-formation principles, are the reasons for the dispute," BACCO stated.

The Association also added that bTV's new requirements could result in cable operators being forced to up prices for end users.

Sunday representatives of the Association of Telecom Users argued that the move by bTV and TV7 aims at diverting users from Bulsatcom to Vivacom.

However, Vivacom is also a BACCO member.

The Users' Association have stated that it has already sent Commissioner Nellie Kroes a letter regarding what they called a "dishonest trade practice" on the part of the TV channels.

Blusatcom has stated it has no overdue payments to bTV.

The TV network said that its channels will temporarily continue to be shown on cable through January 2 due to the holidays.

New contracts between BACCO members and bTV for 2013 are yet to be negotiated.

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Tags: bTV, bacco, cable, TV7, Bulsatcom, TV, Nellie Kroes, EU, Vivacom
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