D-Smart defends decision to drop SinemaTV channels

Turkish pay TV platform D-Smart has defended its decision to drop movie channels from distributor SinemaTV in favour of its own bouquet of premium film and series networks.

It claims it has no case to answer despite SinemaTV claiming thousands of customers had complained over the dropping its channels.

D-Smart said its own new channel bouquet was “much appreciated by our customers. Hence, the matter at hand has been already resolved for us and no further progress should be anticipated”.

This week, SinemaTV said Turkish subscription television was set for a major overhaul that would bring regulations in line with those of the UK and US following regulatory rulings related to the situation.

The channel distributor said a ruling from the BTK (Information and Communications Technologies Authority) included provisions demanding customers affected by the decision to drop SinemaTV could exit their D-Smart contracts free of charge.

It also claimed the RTUK (Radio and Television Supreme Council) had warned D-Smart to ensure it enforced “non-discriminatory conditions” that give channel operators seeking to operate on the platform a fair chance to do so.

A SinemaTV source told TBI D-Smart had never formally expressed why it had dropped the SinemaTV bouquet, which had been offered as an a la carte premium branded package and as part of a wider package for all channels. SinemaTV said its channels had 430,000 subscribers on D-Smart.

This morning, D-Smart issued a statement to TBI reading: “Due to recent wave of disinformation and some major misrepresentation of the developments in Turkey, we consider it necessary to make a clarification about our movie and series channel business.”

“In lieu of the movie channels in question, contract of which expired on December 31, 2013, and which we resolved not to renew such contract at our discretion, we introduced brand new movie and series channels on our platform.

“As Turkey’s fastest growing pay TV platform, D-Smart undersigned agreements with major Hollywood studios including Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company and MGM; and in January 2014 we launched brand new in-house produced movie and series channels on which high quality products from several major distributors including aforesaid major studios broadcast.”

SinemaTV, which is part of the Oflaz Media Group, still distributes its channels on cable platform Teledunya and IPTV services Tivibu and Turkcell.