Dutch cable operators UPC and Ziggo do not have arrange the carriage contracts and payments with broadcasters for third party resellers of the analogue cable product, a The Hague judge ruled. As a result, Tele 2 and Online have to negotiate agreements with the various broadcasters themselves.
The new Dutch Open Cable provision allows third parties to sell analogue cable as part of bundled offers of telephony and Internet access. Tele 2 and Online, two of the parties that are looking to offer such products, had hoped the existing carriage contracts with the two cable operators would include permission for them to also sell the channels. However, the judge ruled that any third party selling analogue cable should have an agreement with the various broadcasters.
The ruling is a set back for the newcomers, because they first have to conclude deals with all channels that are part of the analogue cable offer. Already one broadcasters, CLT-RTL of Luxembourg, has said it is not willing to issue licences to other parties (see Broadband TV News passim)