The proposed merger between French commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6, and the implications of the merger for investors RTL and Bouygues as well as the boards of TF1 and M6, have generated plenty of comment in the French press.
It has been confirmed that as a result of the merger – not likely to close much before the end of 2022 – will be the disposal of three digital channels, each with valuable broadcasting licences. Evidently pay-TV channel Paris Premiere is top of the list insofar as it has a FTA licence.
Paris Premiere is owned by Groupe M6 which also owns Gulli, 6ter, W9, Teva, M6 Music and Serie Club. Paris Premiere launched in December 1986.
The M6 cluster of channels are available on TNT, Numericable, Canalsat, Orange and IPTV services throughout France.
A report from investment bank Exane/BNPP says that the TF1/M6 executives were not able to provide a more detailed year by year synergy plan, but they underlined that it expects the authorities to request certain arrangements such as two sales teams at least for a while. The merged entity should also give opportunity for better real estate management. In terms of authorities approval, it expects these to approve by the summer/autumn of 2022 and with reference to the perimeter of assessment it believes the FNAC/DARTY [merger] precedent would help them arguing for an advertising as opposed to TV advertising perimeter.