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French broadcasters call for mobile TV rethink

French broadcasters TF1, M6 and Canal Plus have written to the country’s media regulator, the CSA, asking that the process of developing and launching mobile broadcast TV services (known in France as Télévision Mobile Personnelle or TMP) be put on hold.

The CSA was due to issue an ultimatum to the 16 channels involved in the project next week instructing them to make firm binding commitments or withdraw. However, according to French press reports the principal channels want more time to study the possibility of using DVB-SH technology, which delivers services via DVB-H over the terrestrial network but using S-band satellite coverage to fill in gaps in coverage.

Canal Plus also wants to time the launch of services to coincide with digital switchover from 2011 rather than in 2010, and has suggested financing the scheme through a tax on the sale of mobile devices capable of receiving TMP.