Canal+ attacks TF1 “intransigence”
March 2, 2018
By Colin Mann
France’s Canal + Group has responded to the ongoing carriage dispute with France’s TF1 by saying it regrets the stalemate in negotiations with the TF1 Group after 18 months of discussions, stating that it has been forced to interrupt the broadcast of TF1, TMC, TFX, TF1 Séries Films, LCI and their associated services.
“This decision is the result of the intransigence of the TF1 Group, which abuses its market power, and in particular its number 1 channel, to unilaterally impose on its distributors, including the Canal + Group, payment to continue broadcasting its freely-available channels on DTT and the Internet,” said Canal+ in a statement.
“After having accepted five schedule extensions, the Canal + Group refuses to comply with TF1’s sixth carryover, which is a delaying tactic rather than a genuine intention to reach an agreement,” it declares.
According to Canal,+ TF1, TMC, TFX, TF1 Series Films and LCI operate on national frequencies in the public domain which have been granted to them free of charge. In addition, TF1 benefits from regulatory advantages specific to free channels, including the possibility of broadcasting exclusive major sporting events such as the Football World Cup, which must be accessible to all.
“The unreasonable and unjustified financial requirements of the TF1 Group, with unilaterally imposed conditions and timetable, run counter to the interests of viewers who are discriminated against according to their reception mode and suffer the consequences of this situation,” contends Canal+.
“The Canal + Group reaffirms its desire to be able to broadcast free channels of the TF1 Group but does not intend to pay for the broadcast of these channels,” it asserts.
“The Canal + Group also confirms that it has sued the TF1 Group before the Paris Commercial Court to contest its claims and recalls that at the end of September 2017, it filed an appeal with the Conseil d’État against the CSA’s decision to simplify the renewal of the TF1 agreement that the latter had announced its intention to change fundamentally its method of financing, demanding remuneration from its distributors,” it adds.