French commercial network TF1 says that it may be forced to close down its flagship news channel LCI if it does gain permission to start broadcasting free-to-air.
The French market for broadcast news is especially competitive, and LCI is an encrypted channel while many of its direct competitors transmit unencrypted. LCI is appealing to the French broadcasting regulator CSA to alter its transmission method.
LCI has been on air since 2004 and was France’s first all-news channel However other entrants over the years have stolen LCI’s audience op[ting for advertising-based broadcasting models.
In the first 6 months of this year LCI’s audience share was around 0.2 per cent, while BFM-TV had a 1.6 per cent share and Canal Plus-backed i>TELE enjoyed a 0.7 per cent share.