ERR and telecoms no closer to agreement on television broadcasting fees

Even though Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) contracts with cable/digital television operators expired back on July 1, contracts with Elisa and Telia have not been renewed. Negotiations continue, while ERR finds the price offered by telecoms unacceptable and vice versa.

To try and avoid the deadlock, the public broadcaster first launched negotiations two years ago, head of procurement at ERR Toomas Luhats said.

But the effort has been in vain.

“We wanted to find a solution to satisfy all sides, while taking into account price hikes in television production and remuneration over the past decade. What we wanted to ensure was for our most important partner – the Estonian viewer – not to have to suffer because of the interests of mediators, such as Elisa and Telia,” Luhats said.

Luhats said it is a fact television service providers have hiked prices not in cents, but euros. At the same time, broadcasting fees have remained virtually unchanged, with operators paying 2.6 cents per customer for ETV that is the most viewed TV channel in Estonia. The price is the same for ETV2, ETV , as well as for online and on-demand viewing. This comes to a total of 13 cents per customer a month.

Luhats said that this price level has become unsustainable. “This in no way covers costs and investments made by ERR on the taxpayer’s dime to create and maintain the capacity to offer channels in HD,” he said.

Read more: ERR.EE

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