French news and information channel LCI, whose owner TF1 has been seeking a free-to-air slot on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform, is now likely to remain a pay TV service, according to TF1 CEO Nonce Paolini.
Paolini told a conference organised by NPA Conseil that remaining a pay TV channel was now the “most probable” outcome for LCI, following a shift in attitude by Canal Plus, which has agreed to continue to distribute the channel and to pay a carriage fee for it.
For now LCI is keeping on file its request with regulator the CSA for a change in status to free-to-air. However, TF1 has reached agreement with Canal Plus, Orange and Bouygues Telecom, a sister company to the broadcaster, for carriage, and Paolini said negotiations with SFR were at an advanced stage. Paolini said the channel needed to conclude further deals with Free and Numericable to put it on a more solid economic footing.