Vodafone-controlled German cable operator Kabel Deutschland is to take legal action to force public broadcasters ARD and ZDF to pay for carriage of their channels on its platform in the German Federal Court, the Bundesgerichtshof, according to local reports.
The case, to be heard on March 3, is the latest move by the cable operator in a long-running dispute with the broadcasters over who pays for distribution over its network.
Kabel Deutschland has so far has had little success in its attempts to force public broadcasters to pay for retransmission, with cases against regional affiliates Südwestrundfunk and Bayerischer Rundfunk in Stuttgart and Munich respectively failing to convince judges.
The public broadcasters paid for cable retransmission until 2012, when they refused to continue, arguing that the cable providers benefited from marketing their channels. Because of must-carry, rules, the cable operators were forced to continue carrying the main public channels, but not digital thematic channels or affiliates from other states.