Public service broadcaster France Télévisions has written to pay-TV operator Canal+ demading financial compensation after the group decided to unencrypt its pay-TV channels on all French set-top-boxes over the last two weeks of March, according to French media reports.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Canal+ has given viewers access to new and recent movies in breach of broadcast windowing and damaging the potential audience of those works on other channels. The Canal+ DTT signal remained encrypted during that period.
France Télévisions has denounced the screening of feature films to which Canal+ doesn’t hold the FTA TV rights, seeking “financial reparations for the harm caused and a deliberate violation of its rights”.
France Télévisions names shows such as Venise n’est pas en Italie which has attracted 1.67 million viewers (6.5% audience share). France Télévisions estimates its prime time share was reduced by 880,000 viewers.
The Canal+ broadcast of Tanguy, coproduced with M6, attracted 1.867 million viewers. M6 invested €2.3 million to secure the free DTT window from 2021.
In France, the initial broadcast window specifies that the FTA channels must wait 22 months before being able to run the films they have co–financed, while the Canal+ window opens eight months after the theatrical release.