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M6 chief hits back at Paolini “price war” criticism

Nicolas de Tavernost

Nicolas de Tavernost

M6 Group president Nicolas de Tavernost has hit back at claims by TF1 CEO Nonce Paolini that the French number two commercial broadcaster is destroying value in the market by engaging in irrational price competition.

Responding to allegations made by Paolini in an interview with Le Figaro, De Tavernost, interviewed by financial daily Les Echos, said that Paolini was merely repeating something he had already said at the time of TF1’s 2012 first-half results, and that “to repeat an untruth” didn’t make it valid.

De Tavernost told Les Echos the reality was that TF1 had lost 19% of its audience over the last five years, while M6 had lost only 4%.

De Tavernost denied that M6 had a policy of lowering its prices to undercut its competitor, but said that it was simply taking account of the realities of a declining advertising market.  He said that TF1 had even started to lower its own advertising slot rates before its competitors. He said the remarkable thing about TF1 was that it was the only channel with a 42% market share that managed to lose money.

Tags: France, M6, TF1