Cablers, Satco forge ties

Brussels-based body to become operational in January

CANNES — Europe’s cable and satellite channels have joined forces in a new association, it was announced at Mipcom on Tuesday.

The Brussels-based body will become operational in January, France’s Access (Association des chaines de cable et du satellite), an organization that represents French cable and satellite channels, told journalists.

Meanwhile on its home turf, Access is locked in a battle with local cable operators who are trying to make the association pay a distribution charge. The operators point out that in other countries such as Germany channels have to shell out such fees.

Access prexy Philippe Chazal, who heads the channel Histoire, complained that with only 20% of French households having access to cable, compared with 95% in Germany, operators’ demands were “unacceptable.” He called for the French broadcasting authorities to arbitrate.

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