The relation started promising, with a “marriage” for football games, continues with “pinches” and broke with a “divorce”, was marked by fights that anyone could see and, eventually, ended up to lawyers and prosecutors (DNA). A series of misunderstandings eventually led to the start of a penal investigation for blackmail against Sorin Alexandrescu, Intact’s general manager.
Resume: The first sparks between Antena 1 and RCS&RDS fired from football, when the 2 companies bought, as a consortium, the rights to broadcast the games in Romanian League 1. They couldn’t agree on the money and RCS decided, shortly after, to launch its sports TV, where it broadcasted the game. The conflict grew even larger when Antena 1 decided to ask to RCS in justice Euro 60M and continued last spring, when Antenas were removed from Digi TV network owned by RCS also because the 2 companies couldn’t agree upon the money.
The full story, on years, facts and gossips:
The couple of the year: In 2008, the marriage betweeb Intact and RCS was a shocking surprise for everyone. RCS&RDS and Antena Group allied to enter the auction for the distribution rights of Romanian football league 1 games for 2008-2011. They did succed. The interest of the 2 companies met in the middle: Antena 1 needed a string financial partner and RCS&RDS – of a TV with important coverage, as the League was demanding it.
“The Kid” GSP: Intact-RCS couple starts working and, in short time, GSP TV gets born, in 2008’s spring, as a result of the deal between the 2 companies. Antena 1 launched GSP TV (together with GSP TV 2, 3 and 4 for the situations when the game were broadcasted in the same time) for broadcasting the games in League 1
Who feeds the baby?
GSP TV had an agitated life even from the start. When it was about the deadline to pay the broadcasting rights, RCS made the payment towards Romanian Professional Football League (LPF), but not the same happened with Antena 1, as Dumitru Dragomir himself said, in a TV show.
Everyone at his home.
The love lasted more than a year. RCS&RDS decides to launch its own sports TV, Digi Sport (with other 3 extensions).
The partnership with Antena 1 was kept during the 3 years of contract, but it stripped Antenas of several options and culminated, in 2010, with the 1st and most option Antena 1 had, which also was the most important.
March 2011. The arrows:
Close to the rights to broadcast auction, Antena Group started attacking RCS&RDS, demanding them Euro 60M damages because the operator “takes over from Antena 1, without any costs, programs that it than broadcasts in its network and the public is paying subscription for cable TV access”. In less than a month after, Antena opened a lawsuit against RCS&RDS to recuperate the damages.
RCS&RDS sued Antenas at its turn, demanding damages of Euro 100M for “grave material and morel prejudices generated following the media campaign” ran by Intact through its media channels
Divorce – the consortium breaks
Once the consortium ended the 3 year contract with LPF, in may 2011, RCS&RDS removed from its programs GSP TV, that it distributed until than
July 2011 - GSP TV enters the list of must carry TVs and becomes free for retransmission;
RCS&RDS was stubborn and didn’t accepted this modification, being fined RON 10,000 by CNA for it’s refuse to introduce GSP TV in its program schedule. Antena Group obtained a justice order to have GSP back on RCS, which happened only in January 2012
The big break up
Intact’s stations were removed from Digi TV, RCS’s DTH network, on April 20th 2012, with the official reason being that Antena Group demanded Euro 7M/year for Antena 1 and Antena 3 to be present on DTH.
The announcement was made on Digi24, the news tv owned by RCS&RDS.
Antenas started a strong campaign against RCS&RDS, even posting on screen messages that mentioned RCS’s “bad faith” and its refusal to close an agreement.
The 2 companies were involved in an official communication war, with RCS accusing Intact of demanding Euro 7M for retransmissions and Antena accusing ‘manipulation tactics used by the actual power”
RCS comes with a proposal, Antena refuses
RCS&RDS proposes to Antenas to create a special package to include Intact’s channels and to be offered to its clients. Antena Group refuses.
In May, the conflict between the companies reaches CNA’s table, but the institution was only able to acknowledge tv’s exit from programs, as it couldn’t mix in business matters related to the companies
Translation provided by AdHuggerAutor: Carmen Maria Andronache carmenpaginademedia.ro