German cable operator Kabel Deutschland has decided to reduce the distribution of the public channels from ARD and ZDF. The cabler is taking the move in retaliation of the end of carriage payments by the pubcasters.
“We continue to carry all pubic channels, but eliminate the additional services which are not required by law”, said Dr Manuel Cubero, CEO Kabel Deutschland, in a statement.
From Tuesday, January 8, KDG will reduce the bit streams of both the digital SD and HD streams of the public channels. Also, the regional ARD channels will only be distributed in their respective coverage areas, and no more nation wide. Until now, all regional ARD channels (the so-called ‘third programmes’) can be received across the whole network.
According to Kabel Deutschland the measures offer a more efficient capacity utilisation of its cable network and thus create room for an expansion of the HD offering.
“Despite our intensive efforts to reach an agreement with the public service broadcasters, our long-standing business partners have not been able to bring about an amicable solution. It is incomprehensible that ARD and ZDF do not want to pay any more fees to serve almost half of all TV households, even though they pay for the signal transport on satellite and DVB-T and for the IP streams on the internet. We regret this attitude, but hope remains on the willingness of the public broadcasters to reach an early agreement with us,” added Cubero.