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TF1 chief remains optimistic on Orange resolution

TF1 chief Gilles Pélisson has reiterated that he is hopeful of striking a deal with Orange over carriage terms soon, but has not backtracked on his call for retransmission fees from the operator.

Gilles Pélisson

Speaking to the Journal du Dimanche, Pélission said that the broadcaster was justified in asking for a small part of its investment in content to be returned in the form of carriage fees. He sid that TV channels and distribution platform operators had a common interest in offering to subscribers an ambition TV offering with unique content.

Pélisson cited TF1’s investment in functionality including catch-up TV, startover TV, the availability of avant-premières and other digital initiatives as evidence of its commitment.

The TF1 chief said that rival operators Altice-SFR and Bouygues Telecom – with which TF1 shares common ownership – had “understood” its case.

TF1 struck agreements with both operators last year that are believed to encompass an element of payment.

Pélisson also told the Journal du Dimanche that he planned to further diversify away from relying too heavily on TV advertising revenues through the integration of production outfit Newen and the acquisition of female-focused digital platform AuFéminin.

Pélisson had earlier said he was “hopeful” of striking a deal with Orange after TF1 unveiled solid full-year results at the end of last week.

TF1 took legal action to prevent Orange redistributing its channel via its IPTV boxes after withdrawing its digital services from the Orange platform after the pair failed to strike a deal. Canal+ and Free have also indicated they are unwilling to accept the broadcaster’s demands to ensure continued carriage of its channels on their respective platforms.