Fri, May 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Kbro, TWN Broadband to keep airing FTV channels

CRISIS PARTIALLY AVERTED?FTV gave four telecoms permission to air its channel content for two more weeks as a dispute over authorization fees continues

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Formosa TV talk show host Dennis Peng, left, on Wednesday listens at a relocated outdoor stage in Taichung while the talk show of second host Amanda Lee is broadcast live on the screen from the studio.

Photo courtesy of Formosa TV

Cable operators under Kbro Co and TWN Broadband yesterday avoided having to pull Formosa TV’s (FTV) three channels from their lineup after the network agreed to give them temporary authorization to broadcast the channel content until May 25.

The network’s announcement came after the National Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday fined FTV and the Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC) after TBC suspending broadcast of FTV channels in Taichung, southern Taoyuan and Hsinchu and Miaoli counties on Friday last week amid a dispute over content authorization fees.

TBC was fined a total of NT$3.3 million (US$110,471) and FTV NT$200,000, and were told they would continue to be fined until the situation was rectified.

The two companies have been arguing since December last year over the fees, as TBC only wants to air one of FTV’s channels, not all three.

FTV has also failed to reach an agreement on the fees with Kbro, TWN Broadband and two other cable system operators.

As the temporary authorization FTV granted the four during previous negotiations was due to expire yesterday, FTV was urged to either grant them another temporary authorization or to issue an affidavit waiving them of criminal responsibility, according to the Copyright Act (著作權法), if they broadcast its contents without authorization.

FTV agreed to another temporary authorization, valid until May 25.

About 1.78 million cable subscribers to Kbro, TWN Broadband and the two other systems would be affected if FTV had not agreed to the temporary fix.

However, FTV did not give the same authorization yesterday to TBC.

Unlike TBC, Kbro and TWN Broadband have agreed to carry all three FTV channels of FTV, but they disagree with its fee structure.

TBC yesterday said it had formally invited FTV to meet today for another negotiation on content authorization fees.

“We hope that FTV can authorize us to broadcast the contents on Formosa News and set the fee accordingly,” TBC said in a statement.

TBC dismissed FTV’s claim that it had not demanded TBC pay content fees for all three FTV channels, citing a document from FTV as evidence.

FTV has demanded that its three channels be at the front of TBC’s channel lineup, be placed at specific channel numbers, and that the monthly content authorization fee be based on multiplying the number of TBC’s subscribers by NT$2, TBC said.

Although FTV said that it had presented a written statement from its chairman, Kuo Bei-hong (郭倍宏), to commission on Wednesday that appeared to give TBC and Kbro temporary content authorization, TBC said that the statement was not an official authorization letter and was vaguely worded.

“The commission knows that we do not have the official authorization from FTV, but it asked us to broadcast the channels anyway. Was it asking us to infringe the Copyright Act?” TBC said, referring to the fines its five cable systems received.

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