CasTel may not deny cable access to MCM programme
The cable company, CasTel may not deny the programme services provider, MCM, access to its cable network, because the latter wishes to charge CasTel a tariff for transmitting its programme, Muzzik. OPTA has decided this in a dispute involving the two organisations. In addition, OPTA has ordered CasTel to ensure that the rules governing access to its cable network, which should be identical for everyone, are clearly set out on paper. This should avoid such disputes in the future.
MCM had brought a case before OPTA, because CasTel, a cable company active in the north-east of the Netherlands, had refused to include its programme, Muzzik, in its broadcasting package, even though the local programming council had recommended that this programme be offered to CasTel’s customers. CasTel had refused to include Muzzik, because it had adopted the position that it did not wish to pay for any programmes. Since CasTel does pay for two programmes supplied by other providers, OPTA ruled that it should pay MCM the same tariff for Muzzik, as it pays to those other two providers. By doing so, OPTA has shown that cable companies may not use payment for programmes as an argument in favour of refusing specific ones. As it happens, CasTel is at liberty to apply to the programming council for another assessment.
In addition, OPTA has ordered CasTel to publish access rules within two months following this decision. These rules must clearly set out the principles which CasTel applies for the purposes of determining cable access. These principles must be clearly stated and must be the same for everyone, so as to prevent new disputes from occurring in the future.
The cable company, CasTel, may not deny the programme services provider, MCM, access to its cable network, because the latter wishes to charge CasTel a tariff for transmitting its programme, Muzzik.