Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
Businesses Television The Media

Price Dispute Means 800k Customers Lose TV Channels In Sweden (telecompaper.com) 164

Z00L00K writes: Due to a conflict between the cable operators and the channel providers, 800,000 to 900,000 customers will lose some of the most-viewed TV channels in Sweden, among them Eurosport, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. Additional customers in Norway will also lose channels. This is caused by a considerable hike in price for the channels from the provider Discovery Networks. However the amount of money involved is still kept secret for negotiation and business reasons. "Telenor Broadcast arm Canal Digital said Discovery Networks has told it that it will withdraw its channels from Canal Digital Sweden and sister company Bredbandsbolaget from 01 February. This follows Discovery's attempts to raise prices and pay for a number of channels that viewers had not chosen. This will affect their approximately 800,000 customers while a new contract is negotiated. Telenor Sweden customers will not able to watch Kanal 5 or the other Discovery channels until a deal is reached." Considering that Sweden has a population of almost 10 million the impact is noticeable.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Price Dispute Means 800k Customers Lose TV Channels In Sweden

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2016 @07:34AM (#51412855)

    I'm one of the affected Norwegian customers, and frankly couldn't care less that some channels are gone. What -I- want to know, is why I cannot buy broadband without having to pay for a lot of nonsense TV content. No one in my family watches TV anymore, and the consumer authorities have already pointed out repeatedly that this bundling practice needs to stop.

    • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @07:50AM (#51412911) Homepage

      I live in Iceland and I'm wondering if I'm going to be affected; I think our channels are based on yours (at the very least, the commercials on them are in Norwegian).

      I like to use some of those channels as "background noise" while I'm working on a project. Nothing so interesting as to draw too much of my attention, nothing so annoying as to make me angry at it (describes most of the stuff on History these days), but also nothing so tediously mundane as to not give me the benefit of "background". Discovery Science commonly suits the bill, sometimes NatGeo, sometimes BBC, etc.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bundling reduces prices. Your cable/TV company sell you to advertisers. It's as simple as that. It's the same all over the world. If you don't like it, stop kidding yourself the ISP is only what you pay. Cancel everything to do with TV, the STD/DVR etc, and pay the price for online only. It sucks, I know. But we've been doing it for over four years now, and it's just the way things are, and it'll probably never change because there's too much money involved.

      That lack of competition doesn't really help us. C

      • Bundling does NOT reduce prices. The extra income from bundling is used to subsidize channels that nobody watches, creating make-work jobs for friends and family. And no, it's NOT the same all over the world. Change is coming [theglobeandmail.com].

        And who is still watching Animal Planet?

        • What really astonishes me about that is that (a) this is a corrupt practice, (b) it has to do with TV, and (c) I can't blame it on the cable company. I'm not used to that.

    • In Minneapolis, they bundled in TV reception that's very expensive and won't even let me watch Minnesota Twins games (the local Major League Baseball team is about the only reason I'd want TV). Fortunately, they do allow cancellation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2016 @07:37AM (#51412865)

    The issue is even bigger here in Norway, where it affects almost 1 000 000 customers. Since our population is about 1/2 of that of Sweden, it means that almost 20% of Norwegian TV customers are currently missing all of DIscovery Networks channels, including several national ones.

    • Lol, what good is all your oil and money if you can't watch ghost stories and crappy reality shows on Discovery?

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @09:56AM (#51413375)

      I wouldn't say they're "missing" them Bob.

    • by teg ( 97890 )

      The issue is even bigger here in Norway, where it affects almost 1 000 000 customers. Since our population is about 1/2 of that of Sweden, it means that almost 20% of Norwegian TV customers are currently missing all of DIscovery Networks channels, including several national ones.

      One customer is one household, it affects approximately half of the households in Norway - not just 20%. That said, the networks wanting to increase their pricing with a couple of hundred million NOK for "mandatory" channels that mostly funded by advertising is rather unreasonable. If they want their channels to have subscriber income, charge it directly to those customers who want them.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      The issue is even bigger here in Norway, where it affects almost 1 000 000 customers. Since our population is about 1/2 of that of Sweden, it means that almost 20% of Norwegian TV customers are currently missing all of DIscovery Networks channels, including several national ones.

      Yes, this story submission is slanted towards this primarily being a Swedish problem. It isn't. It's primarily a Norwegian problem (Telenor is a Norwegian company), with fallout also in Sweden.

      Discovery Networks got greedy, and Telenor refuses to play ball.
      This will only lead more people to cut cable, which Telenor already is planning for, long-term. As one of the largest ISPs, and largest holder of the IP infrastructure, they are not blind to this.

    • Wow. I dropped all TV support three years ago and haven't missed it. More, not spending $1400 a year for a few hours of programing I didn't feel much about ... what a wonder! Dropped the landline too in favor of a low cost cell carrier and local DSL. Verizon and Dish are now history. My bills are way down.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Same in the United States where there is a dispute between COX Communications and Nexstar Broadcasting. As of Jan 29th, all CBS, NBC, MyTV, and many
    other stations have been dropped by COX. Show me the Money!

  • by JeffOwl ( 2858633 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @07:53AM (#51412921)
    Discovery used to be pretty good, maybe 15 years ago. Now it is all reality TV with fake drama to disguise the fact that the same things happen over and over. It went from being one of the best channels to one of the worst, or maybe it's just in the middle because most of the rest suck just as bad. I know I'm going to get backlash for being one of those guys, but I'll say it anyway: ditch your TV subscription and get your shows over the air and online. Yes, yes, I'll concede you may want satellite if you live out in the boonies because OTA is out of range and you can't get decent internet speeds.
    • You missed the WW2 obsession as well. Honestly, the programming team at Discovery Networks have probably already cancelled any other content from 2039 to 2045 in rabid anticipation.
      • You missed the WW2 obsession as well.

        Next up:
        "How the destruction of the Axis Hidden Rubber Factories of Java and Zimbabwe turned the tides of Global War"
        "How the Secret Bridge Game between Stalin, Hitler, Churhill and Roosevelt turned the tides of Global War"
        "Amazing Cornbread Recipes of American POWs in Germany: How our POWs secretly culinary arts turned the tides of Global War"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      True. The reality-tv crap has taken over the Discovery channel too. Do people really pay cable subscription to get all those shows about auctions, motorcycle builds and "documents" about aliens? To add the insult, the Discovery has now commercial breaks just as the free channels do.

    • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @08:43AM (#51413095) Homepage

      At least PBS has quality content still, honestly. Nova has gone down hill a bit in presentation, but that's a generational culture thing. As a Gen-Xer, personally despise anything with hype, melodrama, and electric guitar riffs in a DOCUMENTARY! Frontline OTOH, still golden; probably the best non-biased documentary series out there.

      • I agree. Frontline is one of the few American documentaries worth watching. A lot of the crap on Netflix or Amazon Prime is just repetitive bullshit that keeps asking the same question over and over again, plays the same footage on a loop, and keeps you waiting to the end of the show for the answer.

      • As a Gen-Xer, personally despise anything with hype, melodrama, and electric guitar riffs in a DOCUMENTARY!

        As a fellow Xer, and a fan of PBS/Nova/Frontline, I agree completely. However, we have to be fair here and acknowledge that those things you describe started when Xers started getting into their 30s and watching programs like that.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        At least PBS has quality content still, honestly. Nova has gone down hill a bit in presentation, but that's a generational culture thing. As a Gen-Xer, personally despise anything with hype, melodrama, and electric guitar riffs in a DOCUMENTARY! Frontline OTOH, still golden; probably the best non-biased documentary series out there.

        I never saw a PBS documentary before I got Netflix, I can see why no Australian TV station would buy one and it's not just because we've got better alternatives from the BBC and other British and Australian production companies. The PBS documentaries were terrible in quality. Ignoring the fact they start off with electronic panhandling, the presentation was lacking and the narration was lacklustre.

    • That would be exactly what I would like to do but,,, I'm a big motor racing fan and unless I am missing something cable is the only option. Would be very thankful if there is a solution (not give up racing shows please). com
    • Exactly. Discovery used to be one of the reasons I had cable. Now, I hardly watch it anymore because it is a bunch of shows about building custom motorcycles, searching for gold in the snow and other extremely low budget reality shows. How do they keep making shows more cheaply, with people who are so desperate to be on TV that they don't even have to pay them, and then expect us to pay more to watch them?
    • by teg ( 97890 )
      Indeed. A decade ago, it was historic documentaries, science documentaries, dinosaurs etc. Now it's just tons and tons of crime and forensics, and reality. Good riddance. They jumped the shark, just like MTV.
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      All channels are going downhill these days. Look at MTV, etc.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @07:53AM (#51412925) Homepage

    Price Dispute Means 800k Customers Lose TV Channels In Sweden

    Slow down, Mr Headline. They haven't lost them yet.

    This follows Discovery's attempts to raise prices and pay for a number of channels that viewers had not chosen.

    Huh? Discovery wants to pay for some extra channels?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Based on the limited information given, sounds like they want to subsidize less popular channels by raising prices on more popular channels.

      • In the US, our contract disputes play out on little bars at the bottom of the TV. The network gives us a little bar telling us to call our provider and tell them to cave. The provider gives us a little bar to call the network and tell them to cave. The only time I have any sympathy for my provider is when someone is asking them to pay more (and subsequently raise my bill) for channels that I don't watch.
    • by bwz ( 13374 )
      Discovery only wants to license the channels in a bundle, the cable provider only wants to license them so they can be sold to consumers un-bundled. They had t he same fight with another cable provider a few years ago.
    • by Misagon ( 1135 )

      Slow down, Mr Headline. They haven't lost them yet.

      No, they were shut off today. I am one of the affected customers.

  • by Bruce66423 ( 1678196 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @08:01AM (#51412947)
    Given that it would be trivial for consumers to be able to pick the channels they want individually on a website and then pay for them for them individually, the fact that bundling is still occurring is a sign that there's an industry here that deserves disrupting. And lo - Netflicks is doing exactly that. Let's hope for some legislation to mandate a 'pick the channels you want' option...
    • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @08:09AM (#51412969)

      Given the land rush for decent, original content by Netflix and Amazon and a few cable channels that haven't given in to "reality" shows featuring has-been B-listers screaming at each other, I'm surprised that this would be a business priority for Discovery.

      I would think they would rather invest in decent content while they can still compete for it so they will have something to show. Jacking up the price on junk content sounds to me like the way to become irrelevant faster than they already were.

      • Discovery wants to do that because they know that there's a captive audience of lowbrows, trailer trash, and dementia patients who can't live without that crap. Those ones are the ones who are going to complain, because (1) they have the most time to watch such crap, and (2) they have the most time to complain.
    • by jratcliffe ( 208809 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @08:58AM (#51413151)

      You do realize that Netflix is a bundler as well, right? You can't go to Netflix and say "I just want to get Beasts of No Nation, Orange is the New Black, and House of Cards." You have to buy the entire service.

      • by Bourdain ( 683477 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @09:20AM (#51413213)
        In a sense you're right but at the same time, it's a better value than most any other [bundled] channel in that it
        1) has no commercials
        2) wide variety of content all on demand
        3) costs less than any other channel available a la carte
        4) offers multiple stream plans

        you can always go pure a la carte but that's oddly more expensive in the form of buying just what you want from amazon
      • I think the objection is that unrelated channels get bundled, not unrelated programs. You'd expect a single TV channel to show a variety of different programs.

        And if that's not what you want, if you really just want to subscribe to specific TV programs, there's always Amazon Video.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Given that it would be trivial for consumers to be able to pick the channels they want individually on a website and then pay for them for them individually

      It'd also be trivial to dissuade subscribers from doing so. "You can have our 50-channel bundle for $50 per month or individual channels at $10 per month each." Which will most people choose?

      • It already is that way. Discounting my equipment fees, I'm paying less with my traditional bundle than replacing either by content volume or by desired channel what the equivalent streaming services would be. Content providers have caught up with cord cutters.
    • Netflix is quickly becoming an over-the-internet only service. The problem with that is that you have to already have internet to your home to be able to make use of that. In most places, you have few choices for internet, and one of them is the cable company. The cable company makes it price prohibitive to JUST have internet with them. So, even though netflix is only $12.95 a month, in reality, it is actually about $80 a month.
      • Do you know anyone who has Internet only for Netflix? Because that's like saying having a computer costs hundreds or thousands of dollars per month because you include the price of your rent/mortgage.

  • by Vermonter ( 2683811 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @08:14AM (#51412981)
    The subscirption TV model in use today is bulky, expensive, and antiquated. Now excuse me while I go back to watching Netflix.
  • They should know how to deal with unwilling braodcasters there. Just pirate what you want to see and drop TV completely.

  • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @08:20AM (#51412995)

    The quote in the summary is literally the entire article. The added text around the quote actually makes the summary quite a bit longer than the linked article.

  • This happens all the time in the US whenever there is a pricing dispute. Eventually the two sides compromise. I hope this isn't the same "Discovery Network" as the one from the US, because their channels are all garbage now.
  • This has also happened in Finland. Apparently the cable companies were not allowed to warn customers beforehand because of some sort of NDA.

  • Supply and demand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @08:36AM (#51413069) Journal
    Ah. Alas another example of the law of supply and demand failing because the client is not the client and the supplier is not the supplier, as everything is forced through middlemen.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Eurosport here in Austria Eurosport has lost some of its cable providers already. They wanted to enforce an Analog transmission for the upcoming years while literally all local cable providers cut the analog cable transmission by this year to make way for more HDTV channels and GBIT Cable Internet. So the result was that Eurosport was kicked out from the local providers due to corporate stupidity from Eurosports side.

     

  • Cut the cord (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WCMI92 ( 592436 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @08:57AM (#51413147) Homepage

    People are sick of these perpetual price increases. Cable is the only product I can think of that is constantly decreasing in value yet always increasing in price, well above the rate of inflation.

    Enough is enough.

    I cut the cord back in July, and I've not missed it. And better yet, my dollars are no longer fund channels like MSLSD or CNN.

    • People are sick of these perpetual price increases. Cable is the only product I can think of that is constantly decreasing in value yet always increasing in price, well above the rate of inflation.

      Politicians are costing the average joe more and more every year to give more and more to their 0.01% overlords.

      Package sizes are shrinking to hide that you're paying more for less.

      How's that university degree holding up, cost/benefit-wise? Ask any grad waiting tables or working at Wallyworld.

      About the only ones getting increasing value for decreasing price are employers who treat their employees as replaceable cogs who live in fear of losing what little they have.

  • You really owe it to yourself (literally) to check TV Fool and see if you can get OTA TV. A $75 antenna and even a lifetime TiVo pay back very quickly. If your living situation allows an external antenna, or if you can get it with an inside antenna, do it. I don't know if this works in Europe.
    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      You really owe it to yourself (literally) to check TV Fool and see if you can get OTA TV.

      That doesn't help when popular sports are exclusive to traditional multichannel pay TV. I don't know about the Swedish TV market, but in the United States, most of the NHL (ice hockey) playoffs are on NBCSN, and the NCAA division 1 men's basketball playoffs (branded as March Madness) are on TBS this year.

  • meh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rich_Lather ( 925834 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @09:24AM (#51413233)
    Television is a medium, so called because it is neither rare nor well-done. -Ernie Kovacs
  • This kind of thing happens all the time in the USA. It will eventually get resolved, but it could take anywhere from a few months to a year or two. What always happens here is that in the end the TV content provider lowers the price they want and the cable TV provider finally agrees to pay a slightly elevated price. I'm sure Sweden will be exactly the same.
    • This kind of thing happens all the time [...] It will eventually get resolved, but it could take anywhere from a few months to a year or two. [...] I'm sure Sweden will be exactly the same.

      I wouldn't be so sure about that. I've heard the Swedish Chef was in charge of the negotiations, so it could take a while.

  • I really wonder who really still will be affected by losing TV channels. It is a situation of abundance of turds, not a damn channel has good programs...Even National geographic has the fucking reality shows under the banner of wait for it..."science"... Really, news for who, slashdot? We do give a flying fuck for TV channels...they are outdated technology and produced on the cheap, pure garbage.
  • by Mirar ( 264502 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @10:25AM (#51413605) Homepage

    again?

    Last year, same issue, different channels:
    http://www.sydsvenskan.se/kultur--nojen/700-000-hushall-kan-mista-tv-kanaler/

  • Who really cares? The programming on cable TV has been abysmal for over a decade now.

    Let cable TV die.

    It NEEDS to die to free up those resources and political strength for emerging technologies that are far more interesting to our long term media consumption needs and wants.

    • You're stating what's obvious to nerds and people who are aware of alternatives, but for the rest of the world, things like Netflix are just words they hear a few times per year.

      So yes, the more the old telecom powers lose their grips on their markets by asking for more money instead of less, the more alternatives are getting known by necessity.

  • Urge to kill... rising...

  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Monday February 01, 2016 @11:28AM (#51414251)

    So a few thousand Swedes might lose access to Shark Century, Ice Road Fuckwits and Cannibal Hillbillies of Alaska?

    Oh, the humanity!

  • by slazzy ( 864185 )
    I find it surprising people still watch TV.
  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @11:50AM (#51414467)

    Coming soon to computers in your area: a more consumer-friendly, untraceable Torrent interface.

  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @11:53AM (#51414493) Journal
    TV is DEAD, long live the TV.

    Advertisement revenue on traditional TV has been on a downhill run - the short term solution puts the FINAL nail in the coffin for TV, and that is the ...ok then, we'll just increase the number of ads and cover our usual income that way.

    In Sweden (or Norway, Denmark etc.) we pay for 3 licenses:

    1) The National TV license. This one is MANDATORY if you have a television. It's roughly 300$ a year, and you can't opt out unless you have NO TV or RADIO.
    2) The second license is the one you pay for your subscription channels, that is...if you want something BESIDES the NATIONAL "we-will-kill-you-with-culture" channels.
    3) The THIRD license is the forced Advertisement which consists of pretty exactly 5 minutes of ADS (30-50% Casino/Gambling ads) and 2.5 minutes of ADS and SPONSORS for the TV channels next tv programs, which they will repeat over and over until you're a dumb monkey salivating as you try to reach the remote, now that finger pressing is just a body-twitch.

    The worst part is that you PAY for all of the other stuff and STILL get forced to watch those horrible repetitive Casino-this-gamble-that ads.

    I rarely watch "broadcast" television anymore, I usually spend my time on the internet, and/or watch PAID for documentaries and movies on Netflix and other services where I can TURN off the goddamn ads!
    • by amorsen ( 7485 )

      In Denmark the TV license is mandatory if you have any device that can watch national TV. Since national TV provides streaming with support for phone, tablets, and computers, there are very few households who do not have to pay the license.

  • ..and an entire nation re-discovers Netflix..
  • by DriveDog ( 822962 ) on Monday February 01, 2016 @01:15PM (#51415107)
    ...in the long run. No cable company should ever have paid anything for any channel or broadcast that carried advertising. Either ordinary (ad supported) channels or premium (no ads) channels. Period. Now look what a mess we have. Cable companies caused this, and when they first did, they weren't even competing with anyone.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

Working...