Friday 25 May 2018

RTE pay-TV fee proposal could spark legal battles

'The committee will hear that there is strong opposition from the pay-TV firms to the fees, which RTE has suggested could be worth up to €30m a year' (stock photo)
'The committee will hear that there is strong opposition from the pay-TV firms to the fees, which RTE has suggested could be worth up to €30m a year' (stock photo)
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

A plan to charge pay-TV operators for carrying RTE channels could spark "extensive litigation" as has happened in other territories, according to a new report commissioned by Sky and other platforms.

It could also lead to channel blackouts, which is when a station is withdrawn from a platform during a dispute.

A report by UK consultants Communications Chambers has been submitted to the Oireachtas joint committee on communications.

On Tuesday the committee is examining proposals for retransmission fees.

The committee will hear that there is strong opposition from the pay-TV firms to the fees, which RTE has suggested could be worth up to €30m a year.

But the new report - commissioned by Sky, Virgin, Eir and Vodafone - has claimed that there would be "significant drawbacks" to such fees.

The report also suggests that implementing fees would be "complex and contentious".

However, RTE's head of platforms and partnerships, Aisling McCabe, said: "There is no justifiable reason why platforms such as Virgin or Sky should get Irish free-to-air channels and content for free and then charge customers to watch these Irish channels."

Sunday Indo Business

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