TF1 loses initial Canal+ court case
September 23, 2022
By Colin Mann
The Paris Commercial Court (Tribunal De Commerce de Paris) has dismissed public service broadcaster TF1’s complaint against pay-TV operator Canal+ aimed at restoring its channels on the TNT Sat service.
On September 7th, the TF1 group summoned the Canal+ group to the Court demanding that Canal+ restore the signal of its TF1, TMC, TFX, LCI, TF1 Séries Films channels and on its MyTF1 service at least on the satellite distribution service carrying the DTT channels which serves the 1.8 million French households. in hard-to-reach areas.
However, the Court decided to deny the TF1 group’s request. The court advances two arguments. The first is that audiovisual regulator Arcom has itself recognised that “the law does not provide legal leverage to compel operators to remedy this harmful situation” .
The second is that the two contracts, the one on the TNT Sat platform and the one on the TNT platform, are linked. So, if the two parties have not reached a commercial agreement to extend the two contracts beyond August 31st, 2022, it cannot force Canal+ to distribute TF1 channels on the TNT Sat platform alone.
The TF1 group has confirmed that it will appeal the decision.
As well as TF1 losing the first round in the dispute, it is itself subject to a summons filed by Canal+ on September 8th before the Nanterre Commercial Court. Canal+ accused the TF1 group of “abuse of a dominant position” and “discriminatory practices,” contesting the terms of the new distribution contract.