Proposals to raise the amount paid by Norwegian cablenets for commercial channel TV2 by some 1,500% have been ruled illegal by the Cable Dispute Tribunal.
Welcoming the ruling, Svein Erik Davidsen, MD of Canal Digital Norway said it marked an important victory for TV distributors. “We have maintained all along that the amount that TV2 is entitled to is the so-called market price. We are obviously pleased that the Cable Dispute Tribunal has ruled completely in our favour.”
In 2006, TV2 and the majority of cable TV distributors agreed on the remuneration the channel would be paid for distribution on cable TV networks. However, disagreement emerged over what should be paid in subsequent years, leading to disagreement within the cable dispute committee. The amount requested had increased from 450 to 1539% over the three years leading to protests from cable operators that saw no reason for such an increase.
“Nothing suggests that the level of remuneration in the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 should be changed,” said lawyer Hans Erik Johnsen of the solicitors Wiersholm, who represented Canal Digital in the case. The Tribunal said no such levels of remuneration have been established within the cable sector and that the same is true for comparable channels such as TV4.
The Tribunal ruled operators should paid NOK 0.54 (€0.06443) per subscriber per month for TV2’s main channel in 2007, NOK 0.56 in 2008 and NOK 0.57 in 2009.