Conflict blacks out cable TV channels

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Around a million Norwegians lost their cable access to television channels TVNorge, MAX, Fem and Eurosport on Tuesday. There’s no technical trouble, only quarreling between Discovery, which owns the channels, and Telia, which owns Norway’s Get cable service.

Get delivers the channels from Discovery, which has been negotiating a new distribution agreement. Telia and Discovery had extended their deadline from midnight to 8am on Tuesday. They then announced they wouldn’t be entering into a short-term deal to keep the current agreement valid until they settle new terms. Telia apologized in a press release to all its Get customers.

“We have worked hard to let our customers have access to their channels while we keep negotiating, but unfortunately Discovery didn’t want that,” claimed Pål Rune Kaalen of Telia. Discovery’s Nordic chief Espen Skoland quickly rsponded that Telia was all but lying, claiming that Discovery also wanted to avoid screens going blank.

“We sent an offer to Telia and GET during the night that we would gladly extend the deadline … but we didn’t hear anything back before we heard on the news that talks had broken off,” Skoland told state broadcaster NRK.

Discovery has recently secured new distribution agreements with Telenor, Canal Digital and Viasat but not with Telia and GET, reported media news service Kampanje. Telia claimed that “fewer and fewer watch the American Discovery’s channels,” and that “must be reflected in a new deal.”

newsinenglish.no staff