According to Capital, quoting Valentin Georgiev, TV Club 2000’s CEO, the proposals that NBG sent to operators at the end of 2017 covered the period 2018-2020 and in most instances involved increases in carriage fees of around 60%. However, one was for 200% and another for 400%.
Georgiev added that while NBG could not guarantee specific content, the prices would still increase.
Capital says that cable operators will have to raise their prices if they accept the increases. At the same time, NBG has said that trade negotiations with operators are individual and strictly confidential. It has also denied that the price increases are drastic.
NBG has in addition asked cable operators who have no contract with it to stop broadcasting its programmes as from the beginning of this year.
Meanwhile BACCO, an organisation that represents larger cable operators, is not involved in the negotiations. However, it believes that TV providers apply unfair practices, particularly the mandatory sale of basic and niche channel packages, minimum guarantees for the distribution of additional paid-for packages and lack of clarity on distribution tariffs.
In its view, these practices are responsible for a significant part of the ‘grey sector’, which accounts for 30-35% of the pay-TV market in Bulgaria.
BACCO is also calling for amendments to the Electronic Communications Act and ultimately the creation of a level playing field.