CLT will not allow reselling of its channels RTL4, 5, 7 and 8 by Dutch cable operators UPC and Ziggo to third-parties. This could effectively block implementation of the Open Cable ruling.
The CLT has written about this to Dutch regulator OPTA in reaction to the public consultation, according to Telecompaper. Both Ziggo and UPC have carriage contracts with the Luxembourg based broadcaster allowing them to only distribute these channels to their own subscribers.
The contracts specifically prohibit making the RTL channels available to other parties. This means that all third party providers under the Open Cable ruling will have to conclude a separate distribution agreement for the RTL channels.
Broadband TV News has learned that apart from the CLT at least two other broadcasters, who prefer to remain anonymous, have the same point of view.
Meanwhile, OPTA requires Ziggo and UPC to continue to make preparations for wholesale access to third parties, even if the carriage issue remains unsolved. The telecoms authority said it will issue a ruling on the matter.
Even without the conditions in the CLT contract, it is unclear if resellers need to clear distribution rights with the broadcasters. If this is indeed the case, and this is in our opinion very likely, one single broadcaster can block the whole analogue Open Cable ruling, as there is no way to block a single channel on the analogue bouquet.