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Thousands lose global TV channels in Telia row

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Thousands lose global TV channels in Telia row
Several channels are affected. Photo: Telia
08:06 CEST+02:00
Up to 700,000 households that subscribe to Nordic telecoms giant Telia's television packages have seen several channels – including Eurosport – disappear due to a dispute with broadcaster SBS.

International English-language networks The Discovery Channel, Eurosport, Eurosport 2 and entertainment channel TLC are no longer available to Telia customers, while other services popular with Swedes including Kanal5, Kanal9 and Kanal11 have also been taken away.

The move affects viewers hoping to watch the next round of European Championship qualifiers at home in June, as well as fans of popular Swedish TV shows including Filip och Fredrik and Berg och Meltzer and entertainment shows such as Grand Designs.

According to Telia, the channels are no longer showing up for customers due to a row between the firm and European broadcaster SBS, which sells channel packages to Telia.

Telia says that it cannot accept the latest channel deal being offered by SBS.

“We want to offer you the best television variety at a good price. The content must be broad and flexible…Right now one of our suppliers is not able to deliver this,” the company said on its website. 

On Wednesday social media sites in Sweden were packed with comments from angry customers demanding their money back for subscription services which they had paid in advance for.

"If you don't fix TLC on my TV, I will become really angry," tweeted one woman who calls herself 'Ensam Mamma' (single mum).

Another posted: "Sad, but today I am cancelling my subscription to Telia because Kanal9 is disappearing from their service and therefore also Grand Designs."

 

“The chance of finding a solution feels quite small, but we have not closed the door to further talks,” Irene Krohn, a press officer at Telia told the TT news agency on Wednesday.

Meanwhile in an interview with Swedish news sited Nyheter24, a spokesperson for SBS said:  “Kanal5 is the channel that is most associated with enjoyable TV…this is certainly no April Fool's joke…it is regrettable."

For the time being, Telia is providing customers with replacement global channels including Fox, National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild.

Viewers unhappy with the new arrangement are able to cancel their subscriptions without a fee.

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