Fri, Jun 27, 2014 - Page 3 News List

ERA loses fight for FIFA

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Soccer fans will not be able to see World Cup games on ERA TV today after the Taipei District Court yesterday overruled the station’s provisional injunction blocking ELTA from suspending the transmission of World Cup games before the competition ends in mid-July. After the ruling, ELTA TV issued a statement saying that it will stop transmitting signals of the World Cup to ERA, beginning at 12am today.

“We have officially terminated the contract with ERA because of its clear violation of the terms of the contract,” ELTA said.

“Under the close scrutiny of [world soccer governing body] FIFA, ELTA has won a good fight. The ruling also made history in Taiwan in terms of the protection of intellectual property rights,” the digital television network added. “We will continue to work hard to safeguard our broadcasting rights and hope that more soccer fans are touched and moved by what they see before their eyes.”

ELTA owned this year’s exclusive rights to broadcast all FIFA World Cup matches in Taiwan and authorized ERA TV, a cable television network, to air the games.

Based on terms between ELTA and ERA TV, the games can be broadcast only on cable television, terrestrial TV and satellite TV channels. They could not be aired on digital cable channels.

The dispute began when the games appeared on a digital cable TV service owned by Kbro Co. The multiple-service operator further advertised its digital service by saying that it would allow subscribers to watch the World Cup if they tune in to ERA TV.

Though ELTA tried to settle the dispute out of court, by asking ERA to remedy the situation, ERA said that it could not interfere with Kbro’s operation.

ELTA filed for an injunction against both ERA TV and Kbro. In response, ERA also filed for an injunction to ensure that the broadcast of the World Cup would continue from Friday until today.

The Taipei District Court on Wednesday granted ELTA’s petition to block Kbro from airing World Cup games on its digital cable TV service for seven days.

Kbro issued a statement late on Wednesday night vowing to launch any legal procedure available to protect its subscribers.

“ERA had clearly indicated in its contract with us that we can broadcast [World Cup soccer games] on both digital and analog cable and television channels. It also had guaranteed all cable service operators that it secured full authorization for broadcast contents. Cable service operators will violate their service [arrangements] with subscribers if they cannot broadcast contents on ERA TV,” Kbro said.

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