CSA to launch appeal for DTT channels on Monday

French media regulator the CSA is to issue its appeal for candidates to launch six new channels on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform next Monday, CSA president Michel Boyon has announced.

The move follows the decision last week by the French government to launch six new channels on the platform in place of awarding so-called bonus channels to commercial broadcasters Canal Plus, TF1 and M6 following the country’s digital switchover next month.

Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy has meanwhile told L’Express magazine that Canal Plus is likely to apply to launch one of the proposed six new channels on the platform, provided the terms of the CSA’s call for candidates are acceptable.

Separately, French media authors’ organisations SACD and SCAM have condemned the government’s decision to abandon its previous plans to award bonus channels to the main commercial players.

The two organisations said they deplored the government’s decision to cave in to European Commission’s decision against the plan, which they described as disproportionate and legally contestable. The law under which the bonus channels were to be awarded would have placed obligations in favour of local and European production, which they said the EC had not taken account of. SACD and SCAM called on the government and media regulator the CSA to set similar obligations as conditions for awarding the six new channels on the platform.