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TF1 takes issue with France Info after watchdog slams cross-promotion

LCIFrench broadcaster TF1 has responded to being censured by regulator the CSA for cross-promoting its now free-to-air news channel LCI by demanding a probe into the promotion of France Info, the news services launched in September by public broadcaster France Télévisions.

The CSA demanded that TF1 conform to a ban on cross-promotion of LCI on its flagship channel, which was a condition imposed on the broadcaster to secure the passage of the news channel from the digital-terrestrial pay TV platform to free-to-air. The regulator said that if TF1 did not cease cross-promoting LCI it would be subject to sanction.

TF1 said it would obey the ruling, but demanded that the CSA look into the impact of the arrival of France Info in an already crowded market for free-to-air news channels in the country, which it argues has changed the circumstances under which it agreed to the conditions for LCI’s free-to-air move.

TF1 said that the public broadcaster has heavily promoted France Info on its other channels, something that was not foreseen when TF1 signed up to the regulator’s conditions for LCI becoming a free service.

France Info launched as a free-to-view digital TV and online service at the beginning of September, airing on DTT in an adjacent channel slot to LCI, having received a green light from the CSA in July. The channel is a pet project of France Télévisions director-general Delphine Ernotte-Cunci.