Advanced Television

RTL loses channel distribution lawsuit against Pestana

September 12, 2022

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

RTL Television has lost a lawsuit against hotel chain Pestana Group regarding the distribution of its RTL TV channel, according to Portugal’s Economia.

The German broadcaster claimed that Pestana distributed RTL TV in two of its hotels, between May 2013 and February 2014, without prior authorisation.

RTL Television initiated a lawsuit in the Intellectual Property Court, which then moved to the Lisbon Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court of Justice. All the legal instances considered that the lawsuit is groundless, a decision corroborated by the European Court of Justice.

According to the latest judgement, handed down last week by the Supreme Court of Justice, establishments such as hotels are not covered by the concepts of ‘cable operator’ or ‘cable distributor’.

The Supreme Court of Justice also ruled that the “simultaneous, unaltered and unabridged distribution of TV or radio broadcasts transmitted by satellite and intended for reception by the public does not constitute a cable retransmission when it is carried out by an entity other than a cable distributor, such as a hotel.”

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