ANGA, the association of German cable operators, has suggested that the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF should have to pay for the distribution of their HD channels over cable networks. "ARD and ZDF are spending licence fees for satellite distribution, but expect the cable operators to pass on the extra cost to cable customers," voiced ANGA president Thomas Braun.
Braun added: "We want to distribute all the new HD channels as soon as possible in our networks…[but]…. It cannot be that ARD and ZDF pay many millions to Astra for HD broadcasting via satellite, but that they do not want to pay the cable operators for the extra costs. This goes against the public service mission of ARD and ZDF â€“ cable customers should also have access to their HD channels at market rates. This discrimination against cable viewers is unacceptable and violates the public service remit. Cable customers are not a cash cow for the public broadcasters."
Euro broadband grows to 135m subs
In the past twelve months, broadband subscription in Europe grew 13 per cent overall, to reach 135 million, which included an impressive growth of 29 per cent in the Eastern European territories. Europe is the second largest broadband region in the world, and holds four of the top 10 country spots (Germany, France, UK and Italy), according to the Broadband Forum.
Europe also continues to lead in IPTV with 13,631,074 subscribers, a 51 per cent growth over the twelve months leading up to July 2009. In the second quarter of 2009, there was a healthy six per cent growth in Western Europe. France remains the 'champion' IPTV country with more than seven million subscribers â€“ and 12 per cent in Eastern Europe, where new services in countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Russia are in demand.