Lebanon Businessnews News

LBCI and Al Jadeed
back on the air
Local channels
turning to paid format
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The dilemma between cable providers and local TV stations has found a way out. Paying for retransmission is the solution. Both parties agreed yesterday to refrain from further dispute and adopt a positive approach, said attorney Wissam Mansouri, spokesperson and representative of the TV stations.

“We are now pretty sure that local TV stations will turn into paid channels, but we did not yet agree on the methodology and mechanisms of the payment,” said Mohammad Khaled, the representative of cable providers. He said that there will be no $4/bouquet/subscriber, as previously decided, but another model or price would be adopted and fine tuned. LBCI and Al Jadeed are airing back.

Khaled said they will be jointly working along with TV stations to set a work schedule under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Trade, the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Telecommunications, and the Ministry of Finance.

According to Khaled, both parties have agreed on the necessity of cooperating for their mutual benefit. “We could’ve halted the retransmission of all eight channels, but we refrained,” he said.

Last Monday, a lawsuit was filed against representatives of cable providers by the country’s eight television stations for refusing to pay $4 per subscriber for broadcasting rights. In turn, the latter party fired the case by taking both LBCI and Al Jadeed of the air. By not paying broadcast rights, cable providers had violated for over 20 years, Articles 87 and 88 of a law protecting intellectual and artistic property, and Article 6 of an audio-visual law.

The lawsuit targets Khaled and Sleiman Farah, who is General Manager of the cable company, Fiberwaves and United Cable Lebanon. Farah acts as a consultant to cable providers.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit pursues along with negotiations, until a final agreement is reached.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: May 06, 2015
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