France’s Lasserre calls for pay-TV regulation based on Ofcom example

Bruno Lasserre, the president of the French competition regulator, has said that a new law to regulate the country’s pay-TV market is a necessity because of the dominant position of Canal Plus.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Lasserre said that the position of Canal Plus had been counterbalanced up to now by the commitments it had made at the time of its acquisition of rival TPS, allowing rivals to offer certain premium channels on an unbundled basis as part of their own offers. However, the conditions regulating this unbundling are set to expire in 2013, and Lasserre has called for the further imposition of unbundling conditions after that date.

Lasserre referred to Ofcom’s recent regulation of the price at which UK pay-TV leader BSkyB must offer its premium sports services to rivals as an example to be followed. He said that French media regulator the CSA should have the ability to analyse the pay-TV market and impose similar restrictions on Canal Plus.