TDS wins dispute on horeca's right on broadcast

The Court of Appeal still ruled in favour of TDS in the case of this company charging money for the broadcasting of soccer games in the horeca during the World Championship (WK) of 2006. The Court of First Instance annulled the Commercial Contract WK 2006 for broadcasting rights due to deviation.

The judge said that TDS had informed the places incorrectly and had to pay the 28.850 guilders back. The eleven places that have paid 2100 to 3150 guilders, could also have shown the games in Germany via the channels 8, 10, or 12 with comments in Spanish- or Papiamento. Besides, no actions were taken against other horeca businesses, like Zanzibar that without a contract, broadcasted the games with comments in a foreign language. The three appeal judges indicated in yesterday’s verdict that the eleven defendant horeca-places, like Pleincafé Wilhelmina, De Heeren, Cinco, en Van der Valk Plaza knew about the three possibilities to broadcast the games:
A. Via TDS with the Commercial Contract and Dutch- or English comments;
B. Via TDS at a charge with comments in Spanish or Papiamento (since games with big screens and extra visitors are commercialized compared to normal days with the TV on);
C. Via the normal antenna.

According to the court, charging for Dutch-language broadcasts, which is the preference of these eleven places, is authorized. Nothing was mentioned about the price differences between A and B, but the horeca self could have asked. They couldn’t just assume that it would be free of charge. That TDS didn’t take actions against places that used option B without paying a dime, has nothing to do with this. “Besides, on the assumption that if the horeca hadn’t chosen for option A, TDS would have indeed taken severe actions against illegal use of option B. TDS herself had paid for the offering of option A.”

According to the court, there is no ground for the annulment of the agreement, like the judge in first instance had sentenced and default by TDS is also not established. The horeca was sentenced to all the legal costs, which is more than 9500 guilders, enforceable by anticipation. Besides, Café Olé Olé that at that time didn’t pay for the broadcast, must still do so; 1600 guilders plus interest from August 10, 2006 and 15 percent collection fees, and also the legal costs of 1350 guilders.

Parent company UTS paid 110.000 dollars for the right to broadcast the 2006 WK. Legal proceedings were instituted right before the WK started, against places that hadn’t paid for the broadcasts. The judge decided twice that the exclusiveness of the rights was not sufficiently proved. After the WK, the horeca places that did pay, took legal actions to claim their money back. The risk for not paying during the WK was that TDS could have also cut off the signal.

(Source: National Newspaper Amigoe)

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