In a statement, the company says it has taken the action “in response to the inconsistent and aggressive policy of the operator, which destroys the existing balance between operators and rights holders”.
It adds that Tricolor customers have now lost the opportunity to watch the 38 TV channels produced by Gazprom-Media’s subsidiary Red Media, including sports and thematic packages. “As part of the discussion of the terms for the extension of the 2021 Agreement, Tricolor ultimately demanded that Red Media reconsider the commercial part of the current agreement on unacceptable terms that do not take into account the economic situation and market practices. None of the counter offers from Red Media was accepted”.
Gazprom-Media says that it adheres to the principles of a single pricing policy for all pay-TV operators. An agreement with the new requirements of Tricolor would lead to the creation of preferential conditions, which is unacceptable for Gazprom-Media.
However, as a temporary measure, NTV-Plus, which is owned by Gazprom-Media, has prepared a special offer for Tricolor subscribers. Gazprom-Media is also prepared to continue negotiations with Tricolor.
Meanwhile, Tricolor says that it believes it is possible to continue negotiations, but on mutually beneficial terms. It also points out that the cost of the contract with Gazprom-Media has doubled since 2016. Nikolai Orlov, Tricolor’s deputy general director for content policy, added that “At the same time, they are trying to oblige us to purchase, together with socially significant sports television channels, also additional commercial channels, which, according to our television measurements, are not of interest to the audience of Tricolor. We have repeatedly informed our Red Media partners about the inadmissibility of such a format for the distribution of socially important content”.
Orlov also said that Tricolor has not increased its subscription fees for basic services in the last three years and is not prepared to do so to satisfy “the growing appetites of monopolists”.