D-Smart ruling to shake Turkish pay-TV

May 6, 2014 17.39 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

SinemaTVTurkey’s pay-TV market is set for a huge change following a decision by the media regulator RTUK (Radio and Television Supreme Council).

According to SinemaTV, which operates a group of six HD pay-TV channels, the DTH platform stopped working with it on January 1 after a fruitful relationship of over five years.

At that time, SinemaTV had 430,000 subscribers on the platform.

It adds that the move triggered concerns from the regulatory authorities and at the same time led to thousands of complaints from viewers, especially those who had committed to 24-month contracts.

The Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) acted to protect consumers by ruling that D-Smart should provide an option for customers to terminate their subscriptions without incurring penalties.

Meanwhile, the RTUK clarified D-Smart’s obligations under the law and warned D-Smart to enforce non-discriminatory conditions for accessing the platform.

SinemaTV believes RTUK’s decision will set a precedent for future cases and is expected to pave the way for pay-TV subscribers in Turkey to access a great variety of content from rival providers in a single platform and to bring market rules closer to those in EU or US.