Canal Plus sues TF1 over carriage rights

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Canal Plus has reportedly filed a formal complaint with the Commercial Court of Paris against French commercial network TF1 and TF1 Distribution over a carriage agreement which expires today (February 28th) and where no agreement has been reached as to an extension.

In 2016 TF1 Group asked satellite and other distributors for carriage fees. Previously, Canal Plus and the other resellers had provided carriage without fees. While initially refusing to discuss payments, more recently the operators have said they were prepared to negotiate carriage fees.

TF1 has already highlighted a new “TF1 Premium” service which carries additional material for satellite and cable distributors. SFR and Bouygues Telecom have agreed to pay carriage fees.

Media analysts at investment bank Exane/BNPP, in a note to investors, say: “Canal is not the first player to challenge TF1’s decision. Recent press reports suggest that Orange and Iliad are not ready to change their stance. However, this saga is now well known and we do not have in our TF1 P&L any retransmission fees from Orange nor Iliad (still in negotiation), yet we added €25 million net profit coming from Orange and Iliad in our 2019 [calculations]. That said, we also don’t have either any shortfall in advertising that could arise from a less favourable outcome of the discussions. TF1 takes the risk of ceding audience share if they prevent Orange and Canal subs to access TF1 channels.”


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