German public broadcaster ZDF has reacted with equanimity to the threat of legal action by the country’s largest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland (KDG), to force public broadcasters to pay transmission fees to cable.
Spokesman Alexander Stock said that ZDF was confident of its case, though it remained open to talks with the cable operator.
The dispute between ARD and ZDF and cable operators including KDG over the carriage fee issue entered a new phase earlier this week when KDG said it would sue the broadcasters, who are refusing to pay what they see as unjustifiable fees.
ARD and ZDF argue that the cable industry’s fortunes have been transformed by digitisation and that carriage fees based on the old utility transmission model are no longer warranted. The current contract between the broadcasters and the country’s leading cable operators is set to expire at the end of this year.
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