Why did several Swedish TV channels go off air at midnight?

TT/The Local
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Why did several Swedish TV channels go off air at midnight?
Did you lose access to TV4 last night? You're not alone. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Sweden's largest commercial broadcaster TV4 and streaming service C More were turned off for one third of the population at midnight after a breakdown in talks with telecom firm Com Hem.


Tele2, which owns Com Hem, said the company had been trying to negotiate a new deal with Sweden's largest telecommunications operator Telia and TV4 for six months, arguing that a new agreement would be necessary in order to digitalize 1.6 million households in the coming year.

But a meeting on Tuesday evening was unsuccessful, and as a result Com Hem blocked TV4 and channels owned by the TV4 group (including TV12 and Sjuan) for all its customers at midnight, replacing them with National Geographic, Paramount Network and History Channel.

"We had an initial meeting with Telia together with TV4 last night and although we felt, for the first time really, that their position was constructive, nothing has happened since. But we are of course hopeful that they will want to start negotiating with us," Tele2 communications director Viktor Wallström told Swedish news agency TT early on Wednesday morning.

Com Hem has been offered to broadcast the channels without a deal for another month, but has rejected the offer, according to TV4, which argued that Com Hem was demanding more without paying for it.

"We have problems understanding the logic in demanding new rights but not wanting to pay for them," TV4 CEO Casten Almqvist told TT on Tuesday.


deal – (ett) avtal

negotiation – (en) förhandling

talk (noun) – (ett) samtal

TV channel – (en) TV-kanal

customer – (en) kund


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