Romanian telephony operator Romtelecom, through its cable TV division Dolce, appears to have reached a dead-end in its negotiations with local media trust Pro TV over the broadcast of the latter’s 11 TV channels, according to press statements issued by the two companies.
This may lead to the exclusion of the respective channels from Romtelecom’s cable TV offer next year. “Considering that, until now, no conclusion has been reached, there is a high probability that, beginning with January 3, 2013, Romtelecom might be forced to cease broadcasting Pro TV’s 11 channels, including MTV Romania and VH1,” reads the Romtelecom press release.
The two parties have blamed each other with accusations of greediness and a lack of concern for the financial well being of customers. “[…] Romtelecom wishes to reassure its customers that throughout this period it has negotiated with its partner, Pro TV S.A, in good faith, making all efforts to protect their financial interests and to offer them a reasonably priced subscription,” stated Romtelecom representatives. “[…] ProTV S.A. has requested a significant increase in the broadcasting costs for the group’s 11 channels, which would automatically trigger higher costs for Romtelecom customers.”
Pro TV retaliated with arguments concerning the quality of the broadcast programs which keeps subscribers paying, while also claiming to take a stand on behalf of all Romanian TV stations in their feud with the cable TV giants. “The financial success of TV channel distributors, such as Romtelecom, is first and foremost based on the appeal of Pro TV and of other Romanian channels, which plays a crucial role in viewers’ decision to become subscribers,” stated Anca Budinschi, General Manager of PRO TV SA. “Every year, PRO TV makes massive investments in its broadcast content to meet viewers’ expectations. It is only fair that the value of this content, based on which distributors such as ROMTELECOM obtain subscription-based incomes, should be reflected in the price the providers of such services will pay from now on to Pro TV”.
Pro TV S.A’s TV license portfolio includes Pro TV, Pro TV International, Acasa TV, Acasa Gold, Pro Cinema, sport.ro, MTV Romania, VH1, Pro TV HD, Acasa TV HD, sport.ro HD.
In October this year, Pro TV and RCS & RDS reached an agreement for the distribution of the premium subscription-based TV programs distributed via Pro TV’s Voyo.ro, a platform with more than half a million active accounts at the time.
At the beginning of December this year, another similar dispute hit the Romanian cable TV public. Back then, cable operator RCS&RDS caused outrage with its decision to deprive almost 3 million subscribers of the Discovery Networks programs.
Ioana Jelea, email@example.com
photo source: sxc.hu