HBO Europe and Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe have become the first companies to sign up to what is described as a new type of associate membership with Cable Europe and CTAM Europe.

Speaking at a press conference on the opening day of Cable Congress 2015, Manuel Kohnstamm, president, Cable Europe and SVP and chief policy officer, Liberty Global Europe, said that a relationship with content providers has been on the agenda for a long time and now was the right time to engage in such a strategic bond.

In a Q&A session, he dismissed suggestions that there is a natural antagonism between the two parts of the industry and also said there are possibilities of cooperation in regulatory issues such as copyright, with the latter point being echoed by Matthias Kurth, executive chairman, Cable Europe.

Commenting on the development, Stefan Liebig, VP content, distribution and sales Northern Europe, Viacom International Media Networks, said: “Closer cooperation between cable and content drives growth for all players in the ecosystem and deliver a better experience for consumers. We’re excited to be teaming up with cable operators and other content players.”

Alek Kutela, senior VP of marketing at HBO Europe, added: “We are delighted to partner with Cable Europe and CTAM Europe and we look forward to working together in the future.”