Monday 15 October 2018

RTE suing TV3 for around €1m in dispute over alleged failure to pay for digital transmission services

Tim Healy

RTE is suing TV3 for around €1m in a dispute over an alleged failure to pay for digital transmission services.

The case was admitted to the Commercial Court list today by Mr Justice Brian McGovern on consent between the parties.

RTE, represented by Cian Ferriter SC, is seeking €734,000 for tariffs it claims are outstanding for the provision of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) multiplexing broadcasting and transmission services in 2013.

It also seeks approximately €287,000 in tariffs for the provision of DTT services in 2014.

The sums sought are the difference between what TV3 has paid for the service and what RTE alleges is owed for the relevant periods.

The court heard that TV3, represented by Maurice Collins SC, has a defence to RTE's claim.

In its action, RTE says it has brought the proceedings due to the commercial consequences it claims that will arise out of TV3's alleged refusal to pay allegedly outstanding amounts sought.

RTE says it provides national terrestrial broadcasting transmission distribution and multiplexing services, which it procures from its wholly owned subsidiary, RTE Network Transmission Ltd, trading as 2RN.

RTE claims that TV3 relies on RTE's transmission services for the digital broadcasting of TV3 and 3e, for which it must pay the national broadcaster a fee.

It says TV3 had raised issues about the calculation of the tariffs with the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) which regulates the broadcasting market.

In January of this year,RTE claims, ComReg, who conducted a review of RTE's tariffs for usage of the broadcasting service, made a finding which puts beyond doubt that the tariffs for the periods in question have been correctly calculated.

Despite ComReg's decision, RTE claims TV3 has not paid over the outstanding sums.

The dispute will return before the courts later this year.

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