Thu, Apr 12, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Formosa TV, cable operators extend deal for third time

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday confirmed that Formosa TV (民視) has given 24 cable TV system operators temporary authorization to broadcast its channels after they failed to reach an agreement on content royalty fees.

The temporary settlement, which was reached on Monday, allows the cable operators to broadcast three of the network’s channels — FTV News, FTV One and FTV Taiwan — until April 30.

It was the third time that the network has granted temporary authorization to cable TV operators since their contracts expired at the end of last year, the commission said, adding that the result was achieved through its arbitration.

Cable operators were able to air the network’s channels for one-and-a-half months under the previous two authorization deals, but this time they can only broadcast them for about three weeks, the commission said.

“They [Formosa TV and cable operators] have until the end of the month to continue negotiating over the conditions and the scope of content authorization. In the meantime, Formosa TV should not unilaterally terminate transmission of broadcast signals, nor should cable operators remove the network’s channels from their channel lineup,” NCC spokesperson Weng Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.

Among the cable operators involved in the dispute, 12 of them are owned by Kbro Co (凱擘); five belong to TWM Broadband (台固媒體) and five belong to Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC,台灣寬頻通訊).

The remaining two are independent cable TV operators.

Kbro carries all three Formosa TV channels, Weng said.

However, the multiple service operator disagreed with a fee that Formosa TV had set for cable operators for broadcasting its news channel.

They also failed to agree on the terms that Formosa TV had laid out for airing FTV One and FTV Taiwan.

TBC, on the other hand, carries only FTV News and has no intention of carrying FTV One and FTV Taiwan, Weng said, adding that Formosa TV insisted that TBC carry all three channels and pay royalties accordingly.

TBC refused to pay for content from the two other channels that it does not carry.

TWM Broadband and two independent operators face the same issues with Formosa TV as Kbro, Weng said.

Weng said that the cable operators should see the value of having high-quality channels in their channel lineup and should pay the channel operators reasonable fees.

Channels would have sufficient funding to produce quality programs, which would in turn help cable operators attract more subscribers, he said.

“It is also the commission’s policy that channel operators have their programs broadcast on different platforms. Cable systems should not boycott or treat any channel differently because the channel has programs aired on other platforms as well,” Weng said.

Formosa TV and the cable operators have been requested to provide additional information to facilitate arbitration in the coming weeks, he said.

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