German cable operator Tele Columbus has concluded a new carriage contract with public broadcaster ARD.
The agreement covers the distribution and usage of all ARD TV and radio channels as well as the conditions, and forms the basis for making the offers available in all forms and resolutions on the cable network in a legally secure manner, as Tele Columbus announced in Berlin.
The press release suggests that the contract also contains a settlement on the controversial issue of carriage fees. A Tele Columbus spokesman neither wanted to comment to Broadband TV News on the content of the agreement, nor on the question of whether ARD pays carriage fees for the distribution of its channels, but he also avoided any denial.
Tele Columbus and cable associations FRK and Deutsche Netzmarketing (DNMG) have been demanding for many years that the public broadcasters pay carriage fees not only to market leader Vodafone Deutschland, but also to small and medium-sized cable operators.
Tele Columbus previously agreed on new distribution contracts with ARTE and ZDF, which – according to industry sources – also include settlements on carriage fees.