The tariff, which UPC charged for transmitting Canal+’s television programmes in the Amsterdam region is to be reduced by 60%. This follows from a final decision that OPTA has made in a case which Canal+ brought against Kabeltelevisie Amsterdam (the latter was subsequently called A2000 and is now known as UPC). The tariff amounted to NLG 1.4 million for one digital channel. However, Canal+ is able to broadcast its two programmes through this single digital channel instead of via two analogue channels, as is now the case. OPTA anticipates that this ruling will have an effect on the tariff which UPC is able to charge Canal+ as well as other providers in the years following 1998. The relevant parties will need to negotiate this themselves.
In December 1998 Canal+ asked OPTA to hand down a ruling concerning the tariff of NLG 2 million per annum which UPC – still KTA at the time – required for the use of one channel (analogue) in the Amsterdam region. At the time this tariff was approved by the Minister of Economic Affairs. Canal+ transmitted its two programmes using an analogue system and required two channels for this purpose, which represented approximately NLG 4 million per annum. However, Canal+ indicated that it wished to switch to transmitting its programmes in a digital format. It was possible to do this using only a single channel.
OPTA compelled UPC to proceed with digital transmission. Although UPC objected to this, OPTA has now dismissed these objections as well. The final decision which OPTA has now taken accords with its previously determined guidelines. The latter stipulate that UPC is only entitled to charge a tariff which is based on the relevant costs plus a reasonable profit. This amounted to NLG 1,469,000.00 in 1998.
OPTA has also ruled that Canal+ must be afforded the opportunity to use its own decoder. This means that Canal+ may install its own digital decoders on its customers’ premises. In this way Canal+ will retain full control over its own clientele.
The tariff which UPC charged at the end of 1998 for the transmission of Canal+’s television programmes in the Amsterdam region will now be reduced by 60%.