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 Cable TV War Flares in Bulgaria

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PostSubject: Cable TV War Flares in Bulgaria   Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:04 pm

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Cable TV War Flares in Bulgaria

The new prices, requested by bTV Media Group, are about 50% of the entire amount the cable operator Bulsatcom pays for rights to air all other programs, the company says in an official statement.

On January 2, Bulgaria's largest private TV network, bTV, took off once again its channels from major cable provider Bulsatcom.

The grounds are breach of contract on the part of Bulsatcom by failing to pay dues and quoting a lower than real number of users to reduce fees.

The two sides could not seal a contract for 2013 over the said reasons.

On its part, bTV insist the media is being discriminated against by Bulsatcom over the latter's refusal to transmit its programs despite the much better conditions offered by the TV, compared to other Bulgarian channels. The network accuses the cable provider of using its 35% market share to blackmail the media and customers.

In the most recent statement, Bulsatcom counters that the lack of transparent fees and attempts to brand together the free of charge non-cable bTV program with its lower-rated cable channels represent pressure on the cable operator and all its customers.

Bulsatcom adds that until now the number of users has not been a criterion to determine the amount of fees for transmitting bTV programs, thus the claim they conceal the real number of customers was simply slander. They add that every year they collect and publish data about the expansion of their network to the national telecommunication regulator.

Bulsatcom further informs their customers that they will pay lower fees during the time they cannot watch the bTV channels.

The TV stopped airing its programs for Bulsatcom customers on December 22, but reinstated the transmission two days later, all while stressing this was a temporary measure, just so that viewers can still enjoy the programs during the holidays.

Negotiations failed in the last work day in Bulgaria for 2012 – December 28. bTV insists the cable operator owes them money, while Bulsatcom firmly rejects the claim.

bTV has been followed by TV7, which declared they would not be renewing their contract with Bulsatcom on the same grounds. Later, TV7 also decided that it was more important for them to not deprive viewers from their programs and continued the broadcast.

Bulsatcom received support from the 21-member Bulgarian Association of Cable Communication Operators (BACCO), which on December 31 announced it will have to suspend bTV and TV7 from their programs, as their actions constituted a cessation of contract.

The Association also added that bTV's new requirements could result in cable operators being forced to up prices for end users. Representatives of the Association of Telecom Users have argued that the move by bTV and TV7 aims at diverting users from Bulsatcom to Vivacom. However, Vivacom is also a BACCO member.

The Users' Association stated that it had already sent Commissioner Nellie Kroes a letter regarding what they called a "
dishonest trade practice"
on the part of the TV channels.

In response, bTV also sent a letter of complaint to the European Commission over what it saw as "
unfair actions"
on part of Bulsatcom.

Currently, bTV can be seen non-cable with an antenna and life online.

Bulsatcom promises to assist their customers with installing non-cable antennas. The operator has also started to transmit some new programs and is negotiating to add others.

Meanwhile, the war has brought down prices for cable and digital TV in Bulgaria with competitors of the cable operator offering new packages in an attempt to attract bTV fans as customers.

The offer of Vivacom for the 7 bTV channels: bTV, bTV Cinema, bTV Action, bTV Comedy, bTV Lady, Ring.bg and bTV HD start at BGN 9.80 a month. M-Tel offers a package for BGN 29.90, but it includes adding a laptop, a smart phone or a second TV set. The Blizoo price for bTV is BGN 7.95 for the first four months. Net 1 offers internet and TV for BGN 19.90 for a 18-month contract.

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starlite
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PostSubject: Re: Cable TV War Flares in Bulgaria   Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:40 pm

while they are infighting among themselves, what effect will the change over to astra2 satillite affect those with uk and sky tv as this is designed to stop uk telly being seen abroad. already affected spain in losing channels, has anyone in bulgaria lost viewing uk tv. c
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PostSubject: Re: Cable TV War Flares in Bulgaria   Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:53 am

i dont have it myself ..but have been told on another forum that certain of the channels have gone ..and the others will follow !
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PostSubject: Re: Cable TV War Flares in Bulgaria   Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:54 am

We recently had problems with programmes taken off or moved but have noticed they have just been put back on ......... what a pointless exercise !
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PostSubject: Re: Cable TV War Flares in Bulgaria   Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:43 pm

I think there will be more of this in the future as things move on with these cable people. We will all have to wait and see.
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PostSubject: Re: Cable TV War Flares in Bulgaria   Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:52 pm

I could be wrong but it seems that btv is asking more money for 50% of all cable TV programming. If this is correct, why is btv upping the cost to Bulsatcom? Why are people not on cable also involved? Is this a simplification because I have read and re-read this info and thats all I can make of it. BTV is the national television coverage is it not and Bulsatcom pays to use it hence they are refusing to pay btv any more money for only a 35% share?
Interestingly, there seems to be heavy competition from Vivacom which I thought was part of BTK telephone company. Who is competing with who? Its obviously the customer who is getting less service from all suppliers.
There have been new channels which all seem to be Bulgarian related and probably allied to btv to keep customers happy. As for Sky television channels - its not officially allowed outside the UK so anybody installing it is taking their chances.
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PostSubject: Re: Cable TV War Flares in Bulgaria   Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:40 pm

Whatever the problem was it seems to be sorted because channels are back plus several new ones. Unfortunately none of the new ones are very good for expats. Yes, I know we live in Bulgaria but its mostly the expats that pay for the full package and often for a year so I think we are entitled to some good programmes in English and not all the American stuff. We would rather watch the Bulgarian channels than the American ones with some notable exceptions like the History channels or Discovery. Its a shame that Travel and 24kitchen are not in English and I miss Zone Club and Zone Reality. I don't think I would get much joy from the girls in VT Bulsatcom now my lovely lady from past years has left. Why do all the good staff always leave businesses? Have to say we've managed to catch some cracking films lately which make a change. MGM has just disappeared and I loved some of those old movies they had. Surely old black and white British movies would be cheap to buy in. I see they are on English satellite channels. I guess I should dream on and the sun will soon be out and I will be in the garden!
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