LCI expected to go free-to-air, Orange may take stake

TF1 chief executive Nonce Paolini is expected to announce this morning that the group’s information channel LCI is to become a free-to-air service, according to local reports.

It has also been reported that Orange could take a stake in the channel and fold in its 24/24 Actu online service, which Orange had already decided to wind down.

Distribution of the channel as a free-to-air service will be limited, at least initially, to cable, satellite and IPTV. A move to migrate it to a free-to-air offering on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform would involve a change in its licence conditions and has been strongly opposed by Canal Plus and NextRadioTV, respectively owners of rival services i>Télé and BFM TV.