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All change at TF1?

France’s main commercial broadcaster TF1 is making some dramatic changes. Recently appointed CEO/chairman Gilles Pelisson unveiled a new strategy on February 23rd, saying the broadcaster “needs to respond to increased competition, in television and also for its digital offerings”.

New ‘heads of department’ have been appointed in Content, News and Advertising & Diversification.

Laurie Davison, an equity analyst at Deutsche Bank, says that the four main objectives coming from Pelisson are highlighted for the group, are:
(i) to consolidate the TF1 group’s market leadership in freeview TV;
to create the benchmark digital offering in the market;
to develop high-powered, innovative solutions for advertisers and consumers;
  to become a player and a major partner in the creation of audiovisual content not just in France, but internationally.

Davison warns that “securing content is becoming increasingly challenging…. and regulation in France remains prohibitive for acquiring independent production companies with limited secondary and tertiary rights ownership and limits on dependent company programming purchases. Our industry sources suggest no major changes are likely near term.”

Deutsche Bank’s bottom line is that TF1 “is the broadcaster in Europe most in need of re-investment. Pélisson’s track record is mixed – his contract was terminated early at Accor after the Board of Directors cited “strategic divergences” in 2010 He has one of the most challenging roles in European TV and has no formal experience in executive management at a TV group.”

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