TF1 chief confident of striking retrans deal

Gilles Pélisson

Gilles Pélisson

TF1 Group CEO Gilles Pélisson is confident that the French commercial broadcaster will be able to strike a deal with the country’s telecom operators to secure re-transmission payments.

In an interview with Le Figaro, Pélission said that the broadcaster was engaged in discussions in “a constructive way” with the operators, offering to bring new services such as startover or an extension of the seven-day catch-up window to the conversation.

Pélisson said the sums demanded by TF1, amounting to several tens of millions of euros, were in line with international norms.

“It is astonishing that operators that adapt themselves constantly to new developments refuse to change on this point,” he told Le Figaro. “Ten years ago, when you went into a phone shop, the phones were sold at €1. Now they are €500. That’s the proof that they know how to adapt their economic models.”

In July, TF1 pulled its catch-up TV service MYTF1 from SFR and demanded that the operator stop retransmitting its free-to-air channels, including the flagship TF1 channel, in a major escalation of the broadcaster’s long-running dispute with operators who have rejected calls to pay retransmission fees.

In his interview with Le Figaro, Pélisson said he was pleased that the new French government had initiated a consultation on dusting off old regulations across the board. He said TF1 wanted to have the possibility of adding a third ad break during the airing of movies, where it is currently restricted to two. He said he also wanted approval to launch addressable advertising on IPTV boxes.

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