Advanced Television

Blackout for TF1 channels on Canal+

September 2, 2022

From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris

Canal+ has stopped broadcasting TF1 Group’s FTA channels TF1, TMC, TFX, TF1 Séries Films and LCI with immediate effect, following disagreements over the commercial distribution contract.

For the 4.5 million subscribers to Canal+ receiving TF1 channels, the services are now replaced by a black screen with written explanations from Canal+ regarding TF1’s commercial requirements.

“As part of the distribution of its channels by the Canal+ group, the TF1 group has expressed its desire to fundamentally review its commercial requirements as of August 31, 2022,” stated Canal+. “Faced with its unfounded and unreasonable demands for channels accessible free of charge for all, the Canal+ group is forced to give up broadcasting these channels.”

TF1 is set to broadcast the 28 leading matches at FIFA World Cup. Canal+ says it is mindful of the “importance of the World Cup for its subscribers”, adding it will nevertheless be able to broadcast the tournament, because of its partnership with beIN Sports which owns the entirety of the TV rights.

Noting the Canal+ group’s decision, despite “weeks of discussions and negotiations”, TF1 group said: “TF1 group content is distributed by all the distributors (Free, SFR, Bouygues Telecom, Orange, Molotov and Salton)” but regrets Canal+ prefers to deprive “subscribers of channels and services which they have paid for as part of their subscription” and confirmed that it remained open to further discussions with a view to reaching a swift resolution.

MyCanal subscribers make up 12 per cent to 15 per cent of the TF1 audience.

A similar conflict between the two parties arose in Spring 2018, leading to the same service interruption, but it didn’t last overlong, following adverse reaction from viewers and light pressure from both the government and then-TV regulator CSA.

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