Norwegian TV viewers have never before experienced such a long period of black screens as in the conflict between TV 2 and Altibox.
Now 530,000 Altibox customers have been without TV 2 for 55 days. Since the summer of 2020, nearly 1.6 million Norwegian TV customers and twice as many TV viewers have watched 2 black TV screens over a longer period.
“This is a record we never wanted to set, and first of all I would like to apologize to our viewers who missed the news from TV 2 and our programming,” TV 2 Organization and Communications Director Sarah CJ Willand tells VG.
The old record was held by TV 2 and Telenor with 50 days of black screens during the early year conflict, which ran from December 3 last year to January 21 this year.
Wiland denies that black TV 2 screens are an effective tool in a struggle like this.
Black screens are neither a means nor a negotiation tactic, but a consequence of the fact that we do not have an agreement with the distributor. It is a crisis for us to stand in front of black screens and this is not something we want. We don’t communicate with our shows or the press we create, and we lose millions of crowns and lose the trust of our viewers, says Welland.
We can do nothing but recommend that TV 2 be brought back to the negotiating table, says Andreas Veggeland, Director of Communications at Altibox.
He thinks it’s not the Altibox that exists now.
“TV2 should want to negotiate with us, they don’t want to now,” Vigeland continues.
Sarah C. J. Welland answers as follows:
– Altibox says they are trying everything they can and the ball is with us. The truth is we haven’t heard anything from Altibox since the agreement expired. And at least we want to be open about that.
Since April 1, 530,000 Altibox customers and thus about 1 million Norwegian TV viewers have been denied access to TV 2. Today there has been no contact between the two parties since March 23.
This is the fourth conflict since 2016 that has led to black TV screens among Norwegian TV viewers.
In 2016, about one million subscribers of Telenor-owned Canal Digital were affected by the conflict between the TV distributor and Discovery. As a result, TVNorge, Eurosport, MAX and ten other Discovery channels turned black. The conflict lasted from 1 to 11 February of that year.
All three other disputes in recent years have been between TV 2 and different distributors.
In 2020, about 500,000 Telia customers at that time got the No TV 2 experience from June 1 to July 3. At that time, an interim agreement was entered into between the two parties, which resulted in Telia customers returning for TV 2. But the final agreement was not entered into until the beginning of September 2020.
On December 3, 2021, negotiations between TV 2 and Telenor T-We broke down. In the end, 550,000 customers encountered 2 black TV screens as of January 21.
This means that just under 1.6 million Norwegian TV customers or around 3 million Norwegian TV viewers over the past two years have been exposed to 2 black TV screens over an extended period of time.
TV 2 receives annual state support of up to NOK 135 million Provide public broadcast content As stated in the agreement between the channel and the state. This agreement raised questions about whether TV 2 could turn off signals.
– It is about technical coverage – any technical opportunity to receive signals from TV 2. These conditions are subject to supervision by the Norwegian Media Authority. With respect to the actual agreements between TV 2 and distributors of such signals, these are private law agreements that are not part of the Public Broadcasting Service Agreement. The Norwegian Media Authority’s legal director Hanne Nistad Sekkelsten told VG that the Norwegian Media Authority could not interfere in negotiations between TV 2 and distributors. In an interview in April this year.
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