As of midnight on August 31 entertainment channels Kanal 5 and Kanal 9, Eurosport and Discovery-branded channels have been absent from the Swedish cablenet and its DTT platform Boxer.
With the current agreement due to expire no new settlement has been reached.
In an open letter to Discovery Sweden’s CEO Henriette Zeuchner, Comhem’s CEO Anders Nilsson called for a solution, quoting comments from Discovery boss David Zaslav that earlier disputes, including those in neighbouring Norway have resulted in the higher fees Discovery has been seeking.
“In other words, it’s Discovery’s tactics to take the viewers hostage to put the maximum pressure on the distributors and thereby bring out higher prices. Then you should remember that you already have the most favorable terms of all program agreements we have. Again, you take the most aggressive and ruthless action of all broadcasters to earn even more money without regard to the Swedish TV market or to the Swedish state that has been granted permission to broadcast on the terrestrial network”.
In response Zeuchner called for more discussion away from the glare of social media: “I really wish the bounce could end and we solved this situation together. But I think it’s better that we do it in a room with a little less people than here on Facebook.” And with a nod to the tactics of her Norwegian colleagues she said: “For us, this is about getting a fair valuation of our content. And as you know, the increase we ask for the rights you want is equivalent: one cup of coffee per household and year. “