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TF1 welcomes LCI free-to-air decision

The decision of France’s broadcasting regulator the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) to authorise the migration of LCI to free-to-air DTT subject to “commitments” has been welcomed by the TF1 Group.

The commitments, put forward by the TF1 group and accepted by the CSA are compatible with LCI’s successful migration to free-to-air television both on an editorial and economic basis.

Launched in 1994, LCI is a pioneering French news channel. For over 20 years it has been dedicated to providing viewers with top-quality news. LCI will now be available on FTA DTT, which TF1 says is “great news” for everyone at the channel.

Some €20 million will be invested in the project in 2016, with a break-even objective set for 2019.

Nonce Paolini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the TF1 group, thanked the CSA for the decision, which he said provided LCI with the possibility of being accessible to all viewers on free-to-air DTT. “LCI has been the pioneering news channel for over 20 years. I am delighted for the employees and for pluralism in France,” he added.

Catherine Nayl, Executive Vice-President, News and Information at the TF1 group, said: “I am pleased for the teams at LCI, who have done a terrific job for many years. I am also pleased that TV viewers have gained access to an alternative news offering. We are taking up this challenge with enthusiasm and passion.”

The CSA turned down similar requests from Paris Première and Planète+, ruling that they did not merit a change in the requirement to make such a move via open bidding.

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