Thousands lose access to TV2

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Negotiations between Norway’s national commercial television channel TV2 and cable TV company Get broke down during the long holiday weekend, with each side blaming the other when viewers suddenly lost access to TV2 and its other channels including TV2 Zebra, and news station TV2 Nyhetskanalen.

“We received an offer from Telia (which owns Get) 20 minutes before the midnight deadline (Sunday) and were prepared to continue negotiations in overtime,” TV2 communications director Sarah Willand told news bureau NTB. “We didn’t hear any more from Get and at midnight they turned off our signals.”

That left around 480,000 Get customers, including many homeowners’ associations, with blank screens on TVs tuned into TV2 and its other channels. TV2’s broadcasts were replaced with a text version of Telia/Get’s side of the story, with them complaining that TV2 was asking for far too much money in return for being broadcast to Get’s customers. Willand counters that Telia “has never been interested” in a new agreement with TV2. “They’ve given us three offers that were all under the current price,” Willand told NTB.

Media news service Kampanje reported that TV2 asked Telia/Get for NOK 100 million more per year for access to its channels, while Telia offered NOK 100 million less. Telia claimed that fewer Norwegians watch TV2, and Get shouldn’t pay more for a poorer offer. Meanwhile, TV2 lost a huge portion of its audience, at least early this week. A Telia spokesman said Telia/Get’s “door remained open” for further negotiations.

newsinenglish.no staff