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ZDF settles long-running dispute with German cablers

German public broadcaster ZDF and cable industry trade association DNMG (Deutsche Netzmarketing) have settled a long-running dispute about carriage fees and concluded “a long-term agreement on the distribution of ZDF programmes and services on the platforms controlled by DNMG operators”.

In a statement, ZDF said the comprehensive agreement also signals the end of 12 years of legal disputes, “with all legal proceedings ended. An intensive negotiation process has led to an agreement that regulates future cooperation and thus establishes a legal settlement in the market for medium-sized network operators.”

ZDF spokesman Alexander Stock welcomed the agreement, saying it “guarantees comprehensive legal peace for ZDF. It is a cornerstone for intensified cooperation between ZDF and DNMG, also with regard to new services and forms of distribution.”

Ingo Schuchert, managing director of DNMG, added: “We are pleased that with the fundamental decision. The years of complex processes have led to constructive negotiations and a positive conclusion, which mutually regulates the long-term distribution of the ZDF programmes and the non-linear additional services.”

DNMG is reckoned to represent around 200 German cable companies and regularly does channel carriage deals on their behalf. At its heart, this dispute was about the level of carriage fees paid by ZDF to small and medium-sized cable operators – with the goal of achieving parity with larger cable companies. The DNMG has a similar ongoing dispute with Germany’s second public broadcaster ARD – yet to be resolved.

Tags: DNMG, Germany, ZDF

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