Bulgaria Mobile Operator Vivacom Sues National TVBusiness | April 9, 2010, Friday // 17:38| views
Mobile operator Vivacom has filed a suit against the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) over unpaid bills for broadcasting services.
According to Vivacom, the BNT owes it BGN 8.2 M for national broadcasting of its TV signal.
Vivacom said it had offered the BNT to settle the debt out of court if the state TV station presented a payment plan before April 9, which the national TV failed to do prompting the mobile operator to take the matter to court.
Vivacom, the recently rebranded Bulgarian Telecommunications Company, is the owner of the National Unit Radio and TV Systems (NURTS) that allows them to broadcast TV and radio signal all over Bulgaria.
Vivacom recently announced it has signed an agreement to sell 50% of its broadcasting division - National Unit Radio and TV Systems (NURTS) - to international financial investor Mancelord Limited. The price of the deal has not been disclosed.
In its Friday's statement, Vivacom explained that all TV stations broadcasting their program nationally are charged one and same amount, and are given the same discounts for airing radio and TV signals.
The price per hour depends on strength of the broadcasting signal and the territory covered by the respective TV, states the telecom. The BNT currently covers 98% of Bulgaria's population, and uses over 600 spots of Vivacom's signal transfer network.
Ulyana Pramova, Director of the BNT, said that Bulgaria's national TV is searching for a solution and hopes to get a new contract from Vivicom.
The BNT management is asking for a higher quality of the service from the telecom, and is complaining that the contract with Vivacom is too old. Yet, Vivacom is not willing to rewrite the contract until the media pays off its debts.
If Vivacom stops broadcasting BNT's signal, 30% of the Bulgarians who do not have cable TV or a satellite dish will not be able to watch the state-owned TV channel.
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