Ziggo loses programme council case

By Robert Briel | June 5, 2009

The Dutch regulator Commissariaat voor de Media has ruled that the cable operator Ziggo has to follow the instructions of the local programme councils for the line-up of the basic analogue TV offer.

The country’s largest cable operator, with 3.2 million connected homes, wanted to streamline its analogue offer nationwide by disregarding local variations proposed by the councils.

Ziggo has brought down the number of analogue channels to just 30 and moved international channels such as TVE Internacional, France 2 and RAI Uno to basic digital, even though they were named by local councils to be part of basic analogue.

In its defence, Ziggo said such channels are unpopular with viewers and with just 30 channels in basic only the most popular with viewers should be included in the analogue tier.

However, the Commissariaat ruled that by law the operator has to follow the instructions of the local programme councils. Ziggo was given a six weeks deadline to comply with the wishes of the councils.