why the tone rises between Canal+ and TF1

The business begins at the end of August in the financial field. In exchange for broadcasting the TF1 channels, Canal+ must pay the Bouygues group, since this content…

The business begins at the end of August in the financial field. In exchange for broadcasting the TF1 channels, Canal+ must pay the Bouygues group, since this content forms part of its offer to subscribers. The contract linking Canal+ with TF1 for this distribution, signed in 2018, ends on August 31, 2022. However, Canal+ criticizes TF1 for being too greedy in the amount claimed for the new contract. “TF1 asks us for a 50% increase” laments on September 3, dyears an interview with the “Sunday Journal”, Maxime Saada, head of the Canal+ group.

“Imprisoned Subscribers”

The leaders of TF1 answer him immediately: this figure is judged by them as “fanciful”. Gilles Pélisson, general manager of TF1, regrets that this black screen strategy makes Canal+ subscribers “prisoners”.

The confrontation between both groups, since then, continues in the legal field. TF1 is summoning Canal+ for precautionary measures before the commercial court in one aspect of this dispute: the TNT Sat service, which gives satellite access to free DTT channels to two million customers in white areas (rural, mountain, etc.). Canal+ is the operator: TF1 channels are not available there since September 2nd. “TF1 does not ask to be paid for this service. It seems serious to us that equality in the access of the population to the free channels of TNT is not respected”, laments one in the entourage of Gilles Pélisson.

“It seems serious to us that equal access for the population to free DTT channels is not respected”

The Justice, however, estimated this Thursday that Canal+ had no legal obligation to broadcast them. TF1 appealed, while Canal+ in turn sued TF1 for “abuse of dominant position”.

help line

In short, blow for blow. The conflict could be resolved in the long term. Likewise, TF1 multiplies campaigns to explain to Canal+ subscribers the ways of continuing to reach their programs despite the signal being cut, such as, in white zones, resorting to Fransat, another operator. The Bouygues group has even launched a dedicated hotline. It must be said that the audiences are beginning to feel this: TF1 is deprived of almost 10% of its audience.

At the beginning of the crisis, the minister Rima Abdul-Malak wrote to the head of Canal+ to worry about “blockades that could compromise the access of all audiences to the free DTT offer”. The minister’s letter had no effect on Vincent Bolloré’s group.

new CEO

Rodolphe Belmer, former director of Canal+ and Eutelsat, was chosen by the Bouygues group to take command of TF1. He will be proposed to a board of directors on October 27 as managing director, then as chief executive from February 13, 2023. The group’s chief executive of seven years, Gilles Pélisson, will retain a non-executive chairmanship in the meantime.

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