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Canal+ Poland fined for misleading customers

Canal+ Cyfrowy, the Polish arm of French pay TV operator Canal+, has been fined €430,938 by the competition authority UOKiK for misleading its customers.

The UOKiK has stated it started proceedings in July 2011 after being made aware of letters sent by the operator to subscribers wishing to terminate their contacts. Canal+ Cyfrowy had insisted in these letters that customers would have to call the company in order to terminate, when, in fact, the Polish rules allow this to be done in writing. The UOKiK deemed that Canal+ Cyfrowy had been unfairly seeking the opportunity to persuade customers to stay by offering them a new better deal over the telephone.

Cyfra+ is currently the second largest DTH platform in Poland after Cyfrowy Polsat, with around 1.5 million subscribers, set to reach 2.5 million when it merges with the so-called Platform n owned by ITI Neovision, following a deal struck last year. Canal + Cyfrowy currently operates the CYFRA+ digital DTH platform providing TV channels and free-to-air stations, with access to film, sports, documentary, music, teenagers’, children's, news, food/cookery, and entertainment channels.

The recent incident will seriously dent the operator’s previously good reputation, after having won the Crystal Aerial in the Satellite Solutions category for carrying out Poland’s first broadcast in 3-D in May 2010 via the Eutelsat satellite.