BFM TV chief will fight any free-to-air move by LCI

Any move by French commercial broadcaster TF1 to make its pay TV information channel LCI available on a free-to-air basis would be “unacceptable and dangerous” according to rival info channel BFM TV’s boss Alain Weill.

Weill said there was no room for three competing free-to-air information channels in the French market. BFM TV and Canal Plus-backed i>Télé currently broadcast in the clear. Weill said that BFM TV, as part of a smaller independent group, was the more vulnerable of the two. Weill said he would “oppose by all means” any attempt by the CSA or the government to allow TF1 to make the channel available free-to-air on the digital-terrestrial platform.

TF1 is currently mulling its options for LCI after Canal Plus said it was no longer willing to pay a significant annual fee for carriage of the channel on the CanalSat bouquet.