Orange chief rejects TF1 retrans demand

Stéphane Richard

Stéphane Richard

Orange CEO Stéphane Richard has indicated his company is unwilling to pay a retransmission fee to commercial broadcaster TF1, despite the latter’s insistence that it will cut its signal to IPTV providers that do not agree to pay to distribute its services.

Speaking to journalists on the margin of Orange’s Show Hello event in Paris yesterday, Richard said that he “understood the wish of TF1 to have more revenue” but that its demand were not in the interests of consumers.

Richard said that what TF1 was demanding was a kind of “private tax” and pointed out that Orange generated 25% of the broadcaster’s audience. He questioned whether TF1 would be willing to deprive itself of such a large part of its viewership.

TF1 warned telecom operators and pay TV operator Canal+ earlier this month that it will pull its signal from their services unless they agree to pay retransmission fees.

The broadcaster threatened to withdraw its flagship channel and digital services TMC, NT1, HD1 and LCI, initially from multiscreen distribution via tablets, smartphones and PCs.

TF1 has also threatened to cut the signal delivered via the IPTV set-tops of certain operators this summer if the latter fail to agree to pay fees.

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