The A1 Hrvatska telecommunications company said on Friday that no agreement had been reached with the United Media Group on the distribution of the N1 TV channel and that as of 29 March the channel would no longer be available on their TV platform.
The company said it was ready to pay a much higher distribution price than justified for a longer period, but the United Media Group had set an additional condition and asked for a six-month contract only, even though the contract had usually been a three-year one.
“A1 Hrvatska cannot accept a six-month agreement because that means avoiding a real solution for us and our customers. Such a condition is manipulation … which United Media Group uses for its negotiations with other operators which it is currently conducting, and it is using this situation to put pressure on state institutions to change the legal framework,” the telecom said.
It said it is “still open for talks and cooperation with all providers of attractive program content who are willing to cooperate and whose broadcasting is in the interest of users”.
“Even after United Media Group has launched a media campaign trying to manipulate and exert pressure on us by calling commercial business negotiations media censorship, we were willing to continue negotiating until the last moment in good faith and the best interest of our customers, seeking only a reasonable and viable offer for the distribution of the N1 channel,” A1 said.
It added that despite the statements by the program director that they were prepared to offer to distribute the N1 channel free of charge, that option had never officially been offered during the negotiations.
It has been recently announced that A1 cable provider will drop N1 television and Sport Klub channels from its programming package. The decision to replace some of the channels in their offer, including N1, was made solely due to unfavourable business conditions, the operator said.
In mid-March, the United Media replied that “A1 didn’t have a single reason to make the decision they made and drop N1 and Sport Klub.”