Advanced Television

TF1 reveals free streaming strategy

March 24, 2023

From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris

Incoming CEO Rodolphe Belmer has revealed that the French commercial group is looking to become the leading free streaming platform for family entertainment and news, both on linear and VoD.

Speaking at Series Mania in Lille, Belmer has confirmed a key digital expansion towards free-of-charge streaming.

With SVoD service Salto, a joint-venture with M6 and France Télévisions set to close, TF1 wants to be part of the new usages, which see people watching longer formats on-demand, on mobile and more and more on smart TVs.

“This strategy is structuring the way we think the editorial line as well as the way we invest into content,” explained Belmer, adding that TF1, which posted a €2.5 billion revenue in 2022, was “financially solid” and boosted by strong viewership , driven by sport, entertainment and drama.

Compared to competing US streamers struggling with a decrease in profitability, TF1 Group strategy is based on a local scale effect, leveraging the exploitation  of its content as much as possible.

“Both types of distribution (linear and VoD) bring competitive resources to the same editorial line. Content working with the linear audience also works in the digital world. What is important is the capacity to bring exclusivity and spectacular franchises able to create demand in the digital environment,” Belmer continued.

TF1’s drama, an editorial pillar of the group, is now more oriented towards serialised and family creations. Twenty different projects are currently in development, with some in partnerships with streamers such as Netflix. The streamer had previously entered into second-window pay TV deals on two TF1 drama series, Le Bazar de La Charité and Les Combattantes.

“Fiction is a pillar for our group as it resonates with our mission to be a mirror of French pop culture. As we need to replace US shows decreasing in number, co-production also appears a good path” Belmer concluded.

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