ANGA, the association of German cable operators, has said the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF should pay for the distribution of their HD channels over cable networks. “ARD and ZDF are spending licence fees for satellite distribution, but expect the cable operators to pass on the extra cost to cable customers,” according to ANGA president Thomas Braun.
In a statement, Braun continued: “We want to distribute all the new HD channels as soon as possible in our networks. It goes without saying that this must be done with the general practice conditions. It can not be that ARD and ZDF pay many millions to Astra for HD broadcasting via satellite, but that they do not want to pay the cable operators for the extra costs. This goes against the public service mission of ARD and ZDF – cable customers should also have access to their HD channels at market conditions. This discrimination of cable viewers is unacceptable and violates the public service remit. Cable customers are not a cash cow for the public broadcasters.”
Just a few weeks ago, there was an argument between Kabel Deutschland and the public broadcasters about who should pay for the additional costs of distribution the HD simulcasts of both ARD Das Erste HD and ZDF HD on their networks.