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Despite issuing a 260-page report which studies in some depth the impact of forcing French news channel LCI (La Chaîne Info) into a free-to-air service along with a similar situation for M6-owned Paris Premiere, the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) says it will continue to consult with the parties involved.
The CSA is scheduled to hear submissions from LCI and Paris Premiere on December 3 and 4, says a report from equity analysts at Exane-BNP/Paribas.
The CSA in its report, says: the change of status of LCI would have a negative impact on other news DTT channels such as iTele and BFM TV as it estimates that in the long run LCI’s half of the audience would come from free News channels (iTele being more impacted that in 2014 study) and the other half from the other free channels.
Nonetheless, it highlights that LCI’s programming differentiate from the other news channels as beside live news, LCI would broadcast magazines (versus continuous live news for BFM TV and iTele).
The study highlights that if the CSA refuses the change of the status, then TF1 would close LCI meaning less diversity for the French pay TV market.
The study estimates that the impact from Paris Premiere’s passage to free to air would have less impact on French advertising market.
Exane’s summary says: “Although this report seems – at first look – slightly more favourable for LCI versus 2014, we still do not know yet what the CSA’s decision will be. The CSA will continue hearing with the different French TV players on December 3rd and 4th.