Spanish TV Networks Consider Suing Zattoo

7 Comments

Zattoo, a P2P television company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Zurich, Switzerland, is likely to get sued by five Spanish television networks, according to a report in Telecom Paper, a subscription-only news service. We are still waiting for more details on this development.

Zattoo had launched its service in Spain with 67 channels and is in the process of expanding into other European markets like Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom. The technology of the company comes from a group of researchers at the University of Michigan.

Zattoo is part of a growing number of start-ups including Joost, Babelgum, UUSee and MediaZone that are trying to use P2P to deliver television streams. We profiled the company earlier this year.

7 Comments

Armando

Hmm, I do not what may have happened, but Zattoo is no longer available in Spain and there’s no notice about the change on the player’s site.
Any news, Communications Manager?

Helen

Thanks for keeping an eye out for what’s happening with Zattoo. We at Zattoo believe it’s important, however, to set some facts straight:

We currently carry 12 channels in Spain (La Primera, La Dos, Antena3, Cuatro, Telecinco, La Sexta, Teledeporte, Canal 24 Horas, Deutsche Welle, France 24, SF Info and TVP Polonia) and have also launched our service in Switzerland (over 50 channels), Denmark (12 channels), and the UK (a closed beta with 9 channels). We’re in the process of clearing the rights for several other countries.

At Zattoo, we don’t mess around. We operate legally and in respect of the broadcasting and copyright regulations of any country in which we launch. That’s why Zattoo is not available worldwide (yet). There’s a lot of legwork involved before all the rights are cleared.

In Spain, we were granted a government license authorising our service and the distribution of the channels in our lineup. All the channels we stream in Spain are thus either explicitly authorized by the broadcaster or by the government license.

(By the way, doing my best to keep the pr-ese off here. It tends to come with my job … as Communications Manager.)

Gonzalo Martín

As a matter of fact, Zattoo only includes the six Spanish major networks – not 67 – and a few sat TV channels (Canal 24, public television 24hour newscast, France24, TV Polonia and Deutsche Welle).

You may find the original news source here, http://www.cincodias.com/articulo/empresas/televisiones/estudian/medidas/legales/Zattoo/cdscdi/20070806cdscdiemp_1/Tes/
Sorry, only in Spanish.

According to this source (reliable, it belongs to PRISA holding, the biggest Spanish media conglomerate), Zattoo has been downloaded by 240.000 people and it is increasing around 20 to 30 thousand per week. My own site is flooded of people searching for Zattoo on google and other search engines.

Networks complain about the advertisement that Zattoo netcasts between every zap the user makes. They regret about some legislative loophole that allows this and blame Government.

According to Spanish Law, cable carriers can supply to their subscribers conventional tv channels (and the networks are obliged to accept it). Law states that an economic compensation should be agreed between parties and in case they don’t reach and agreement Government should state the right compensation.

Zattoo claims they have a written agreement with one of the networks, but they haven’t disclose which. Where Zattoo seems to be working is in Switzerland.

Many online video followers don’t understand this movement, because in the end this helps to increase audience. What I personally think is that networks don’t want to lose control about advertisement. So, they sue Zattoo and make next new player to think twice and deal with them.

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