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Telenet television price in breach of contract

Published on 30/06/2005

30 June 2005

BRUSSELS — Telenet is operating in breach of its contract by retaining the existing price of television services despite scrapping eight of its 34 available channels.

When municipal councils sold the cable network to Telenet, an agreement was signed stipulating that whenever three channels were scrapped, subscription prices must be reduced by 5 percent.

However, via a programming council, municipal councils have backed a Telenet proposal which prevents a price rise for subscribers who opt to retain their existing channels when digital TV is launched in September.

The council was deliberating over Telenet’s digital television plans and any related adjustments to its analogue television services, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported on Thursday.
This means that instead of a 10 to 15 percent price cut for analogue TV, which costs EUR 12.95, Telenet consumers who wish to retain the 34 channels will need to also pay EUR 49 for a decoder.

The decoder will give them access to the eight channels being moved from analogue to digital television. The other 26 channels will remain on the analogue network.

The controversy will be discussed at a Telenet board meeting on Thursday. De Standaard anticipates a revision of the agreement reached between Telenet and municipal councils.

A Telenet spokesman said consumers have many more channels now than what they did when Telenet bought the cable network. He also said subscription prices have remained unchanged since 2002.

Full-paying digital subscribers will receive all 34 current analogue channels, plus several more, in digital quality. Telenet will start offering digital television in Flanders from 3 September.

Meanwhile, the Telenet board is also expected on Thursday to officially back preparations for the stock market debut of the telecoms firm, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news