Formosa TV agreed to give Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC) a second temporary authorization to broadcast the Formosa News channel, following a three-hour negotiation yesterday afternoon arbitrated by the National Communications Commission (NCC).
According to the agreement, the authorization would take effect on Friday and is valid until March 31, during which the two are to continue negotiations without unilaterally ceasing signal transmissions, removing the channel or engaging in actions that would hurt cable service subscribers.
The two parties still need time to sort out their differences, NCC spokesperson Weng Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.
“Our No. 1 priority is that cable service subscribers will not be affected by the dispute,” he said.
TBC, a multiple-service operator that owns five cable TV systems in northern and central Taiwan, has 700,000 subscribers.
It failed to reach an agreement with Formosa by the end of last year on the content authorization fees that it must pay this year for broadcasting the network’s news channel.
Fearing that it would be sued for copyright infringement, TBC then notified Formosa that it would have to remove the network’s news channel from its lineup, which prompted the NCC to intervene.
Through the arbitration led by the NCC at the end of last year, Formosa agreed to give TBC a temporary authorization that would allow it to broadcast the news channel until tomorrow. In the meantime, the two parties were to continue negotiations over the content authorization fee.
However, little progress was made over the past two months, as TBC could not accept Formosa’s demands.
Formosa has broken away from the practice before by demanding that FTV One and FTV Taiwan — two other channels on the network — also be included in TBC’s cable channel lineup, TBC said.
The network also demanded that the authorization fee be calculated by considering content aired on all three FTV channels, it said.
TBC said that it only intends to carry Formosa News and finds it unfair that it must pay for the content authorization fee for channels that it does not want to carry.
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