Cable firms to ‘overcharge’ new tv providers

Cable companies such as UPC and Ziggo want to charge new entrants into the market too-high fees for access to their cable networks, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

Cable firms were told at the beginning of this year they had to open their networks to new players as part of efforts by telecom watchdog Opta and the European Commission to boost competition. At the moment, UPC and Ziggo control 85% of the cable tv market.
Market leader Ziggo plans to charge new entrants €11 per connection, while UPC is thought to be slightly more expensive, the paper says. But research by the economic affairs ministry shows a fee of over €4.50 will make it impossible for new entrants to make a profit.
UPC consumers currently pay around €16.25 for a basic package of some 20 tv channels.
The cable firms claim they have used Opta’s own approved method to come up with the fees.
Telecoms firm Tele2 and Scarlet and internet service provider Online have already said they want to offer cable tv services.
Both Ziggo and UPC have gone to court in an effort to have the order forcing them to open their networks to their competitors reversed. The case is still being heard.

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