French private group M6’s cabsat service Paris Première is to apply for FTA DTT channel 23, M6 CEO Nicolas de Tavernost has confirmed. But this will be only in case the channel, currently occupied by Numéro 23 until June, isn’t pre-empted by French State ahead of the September launch of France Télévisions upcoming news channel.
“Switching Paris Première from a pay-TV model to a FTA net is a priority to us, and we will seize all coming opportunities,” de Tavernost claims.
M6 doesn’t exclude also applying for its home shopping service which had previously been denied by the CSA.
Charged with fraud, channel Numéro 23 has appealed to France’s Conseil d’Etat against the CSA decision to cancel its authorisation, but if its plea is rejected, the TV regulatory body could launch another call for bids.
Last December, it already rejected switching Paris Première to free DTT, and M6 also sought to appeal the decision with the Conseil d’Etat. The result will be known between July and November.
“Paris Première’s future is not ensured after 2017 which is the date when all contracts, including those with Canalsat will be renegotiated,” added de Tavernost. He bemoaned the fact that its entertainment channel was not treated the same way as TF1 news channel LCI which has been given go-ahead to switch to free DTT.