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Euro cablers battle over space

European pay TV distributor MultiChoice, a subsidiary of South African group Nethold, has become locked into a row with Holland’s largest cable operator over access to the Dutch networks.

Cable company Casema, which controls one of Europe’s largest networks of 1.4 million connections, mainly centered on the cities of The Hague and Utrecht, is refusing to make space for a proposed co-venture between MultiChoice and New York-based producer/distributor Hallmark – The Hallmark Entertainment Network – scheduled to launch into Holland Aug. 1.

Casema spokesman Hans de Goede says MultiChoice’s request for capacity on the networks came too late: “The networks are already overcrowded and we were not given enough notice to make this launch date. They should have come knocking a year ago.”

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