German public broadcaster ZDF has called for the prime ministers of the federal states to resolve the dispute regarding the question whether the public broadcasters have to pay cable carriage fees through a regulation in the national broadcast law.
“The latest decisions by the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf refer to old cases dealing with questions of the past. In these cases, the Higher Regional Courts in Germany have made different decisions which possibly have to be re-evaluated by the Federal Court of Justice”, a ZDF spokeswoman told Broadband TV News.
“The future arrangement of the business relationship between ZDF and cable operators in Germany has not been part of the decision. In this regard, the Federal Court of Justice has ruled that possible claims for carriage have to be weight against the value ZDF’s programmes provide for the cable operators,” said the ZDF spokeswoman. “As the cable companies are not willing to enter target-aimed agreements regarding this aspect, the legislator is now required to make a regulatory ruling in the national broadcast law in accordance with European legislation.”
In the legal dispute on the question whether ARD and ZDF have to pay carriage fees to cable operators for the distribution of their channels that has been running since 2013, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf recently decided in favour of the cable companies. The public broadcasters cancelled their carriage contracts in 2012 and have not been paying for cable distribution since then. They are now evaluating their options for the next steps.