Romanian carriage dispute escalates

February 6, 2014 10.55 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

Antena GroupAntena Group has discontinued the retransmission of its channels Antena 1, Antena Stars, Antena 3, Euforia and GSPTV on the DTH platform Focus Sat after the two parties failed to reach an agreement on commercial terms.

In a release provided to Broadband TV News, Antena Group says: “For (a) correct information of the market, Antena Group states that the offer presented by Focus Sat to our company does not reflect the commercial value of the TV stations in the portfolio nor the audience figures that make Intact TV division the Romanian market leader with a market share of 22.1%.

“The retransmission fee negotiated is well-balanced, applicable to the commercial policy on the distribution market and coherent to existing contracts.

“Antena Group is open for continuing the negotiations with Focus Sat, in order to find a solution in favor of the viewers.”

Focus Sat has responded to the move by replacing the five channels, on a temporary basis and at no additional cost to subscribers, with Discovery Science, Discovery World History Channel, National Geographic Wild and Bollywood World.

Quoted in Mediafax, Catalin Itu, the country director, Focus Sat Romania, said: ” We believe that the decision of Antena Group and how to approach this situation is unacceptable to the user, the context in which we are required increased over four times the cost per subscriber. This price increase would generate a negative impact on our customers and acceptance of such price increases on behalf of clients was not a reasonable option for us. (We) want to make sure that all requests Antena Group are considering providing stable conditions and reasonable in relation to customer value and customer promises Focus Sat will be respected in the future (and we will) therefore continue to explore all options in hopes of finding the best solution for our customers.”