Court backs Canal Digital contract renewal

By Julian Clover
November 9, 2009 11.46 UK

Canal Digital has welcomed a decision by Sweden’s market court that allows the pay-TV platform to automatically renew subscriber contracts. The ruling followed a complaint by the consumer ombudsman against the practice under which Canal Digital had automatically renewed 12-month contracts on expiry. The court said the contracts were legal providing advanced warning was given.

Although Swedish law requires the agreement of both sides, a lack of response cannot be regarded as an objection, this is regarded as negative promotion. But the court said this did not apply in this case because both sides have already agreed on the initial contract. Canal Digital customers should terminate their contracts at least 30 days before expiry; otherwise the period is extended to three months.

“The market court has stated that it is in the interest of the consumer that the subscription is extended without interruption,” said Canal Digital Sweden MD Mats Almgren. “This type of contract construction is industry practice and applied in many industries, including television, broadband and telephony.”

Typically, Canal Digital contracts run for a period of 12 or 24 months.