DigiDom Cable TV (全國數位) has filed to remove four channels from its cable TV package after failing to reach an agreement on content authorization fees, National Communications Commission (NCC) officials said yesterday.
DigiDom filed to discontinue channels represented by Hao Ming (浩鳴), which, if approved, would affect about 80,000 households in New Taipei City starting in the middle of next month, NCC officials said.
TV service providers TaipeiNet (北都) and DigiDom have been in a dispute over authorization fees with channel agencies Daheng (大亨), MOMOTV (優視) and Hao Ming since November, followed by several unsuccessful mediations hosted by the NCC, it said.
On Oct. 30, the NCC approved TaipeiNet’s application to discontinue channels represented by Hao Ming, including Z channel, LS Time, JET TV and Gold Sun TV.
The Taipei-based company also announced that starting from Wednesday next week, other channels such as Star Chinese, FOX Movies and FOX would be discontinued, with an estimated 100,000 households in Taipei to be affected.
It is still unknown if DigiDom would follow TaipeiNet in discontinuing additional channels.
The Cable Radio and Television Act (有線廣播電視法) rules show that cable providers must obtain NCC approval before making adjustments to channels, NCC officials said, adding that providers should notify their subscribers of the discontinuation of channels five days in advance.
The agency would issue punishments to cable providers that fail to follow the procedures, it added.
Some experts have said that discontinuing channels is not a bad thing, as it reflects the unhealthy environment of low-cost competition, ushering in new opportunities for the industry to improve and grow.
Households with cable subscriptions have decreased from 5.07 million last year to 5.01 million this year, NCC data showed.
Rising incidents of channel discontinuation over the past few years might have contributed to the increase in mediation matters handled by the NCC, which have grown from seven incidents in 2015 to 39 so far this year, it said.
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