Romania debates must-carry

December 6, 2013 09.46 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

TVR romaniaDifferences have emerged in Romania between two of its leading regulators over the issue of must carry.

According to Mediafax, the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) has rejected a request by the Competition Council (CC) that it should be extended to cover DTH services.

Must carry is currently defined in Article 82 of the country’s Broadcasting Act and requires cable operators to carry certain TV channels.

At the same time, it forbids these channels from being charged by cable operators for their retransmission.

The differences between the two regulators follow an investigation by the CC into must-carry that was set up following complaints by RCS&RDS (Digi TV) and UPC Romania (Focus Sat).

Irina Varlan, a spokesperson for UPC Romania, has already gone on record as saying that the company believes must-carry should not apply to any one specific technology and distort competition.

She also said that the number of must-carry channels should be reduced.

According to a list produced by the CNA in January this year, these currently number almost 30, including one service (TV5) due to an international agreement between Romania and France.