Future of LCI looking uncertain

The future of French information channel LCI, owned by TF1, remains uncertain following a definitive decision by pay TV broadcaster Canal Plus not to pay more than €15 million a year for non-exclusive distribution rights.

TF1 requires revenues of €42 million a year for the channel to break even. The broadcaster has not so far managed to persuade rival distributers including SFR, Orange and Free to make up the difference.

TF1 has reportedly considered approaching media regulator the CSA with a view to changing the terms of the channel’s licence and allowing it to be aired free-to-air. However, any such change could have a knock-on impact, leading rival channels BFMTV, backed by NextRadioTV, and Canal Plus-backed i>Télé to ask for the same. 

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