Advanced Television

Niel wants TF1/M6 DTT frequencies

January 24, 2023

From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris

French media entrepreneur Xavier Niel, owner of telecom group Iliad (Free) and several publications including Le Monde, has told broadcast regulator Arcom he is interested in acquiring TF1 and M6 DTT frequencies. Arcom is currently handling the renewal of both channels’ FTA DTT authorisations, which expire on May 5th.

Three bids have been filed, those of TF1 and M6 and one from a Niel company for a proposal called SIX. The candidates will attend hearings of Arcom members and expand on their plans on February 15th.

As France’s eighth wealthiest individual, according to the Forbes fortune ranking, Niel is again asserting his interest for the television world. Previously, in 2021 and then in 2022, he tried to acquire RTL’s stake in the M6 Group, following the failure of TF1-M6 merger, in partnership with the Berlusconi family (MediaForEurope).

Arcom’s call for bids is the first auction of the TF1 and M6 frequencies since 1987, when TF1 went private and M6 debuted as the sixth terrestrial network.

Niel believes a new player in the French FTA DTT market could create a new impetus.

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Business, DTT/DSO

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