Orange and TF1 sign distribution deal as Canal+ resumes broadcasts

Orange and TF1 have signed a distribution deal following the pair’s spectacular falling out that saw the broadcaster initiate legal action to stop the telco from redistributing its signal.

At the same time, Canal+, which unilaterally cut TF1’s signal after the pair failed to find agreement, is to resume transmission of the broadcaster’s services to all subscribers, having resumed distribution to satellite subscribers earlier this week.

The new TF1-Orange deal will see Orange distribute all TF1’s channels and non-linear services. The MYTF1 catch-up offering, which the broadcaster pulled from Orange on February 1, will be available to the latter’s customers from March 12.

TF1 said that it would provide an enriched offering across multiple screens to Orange subscribers, including catch-up content on MYTF1 on with extended distribution windows and avant-premières of certain programmes. Orange will also carry two new time-shifted channels, TF1+1 and TMC+1, from the autumn, and will carry TF1 programmes in 4K UHD in the future.

Orange will carry an enhanced TFOUMax kids on-demand service and will distribute digital channels TV Breizh, Ushuaia TV and Histoire.

The terms of the deal have not been made public. TF1 has been seeking retransmission fees from operators. According to Le Monde, citing unnamed sources, Orange has agreed to pay between €10 million and €13 million a year over four years for TF1’s services, but has made it clear that it is not paying for channels that are already available free of charge on the country’s digital-terrestrial TV platform. However, the paper reports that TF1 sources maintain that the channels are part of the overall package.

Canal+ meanwhile has said it will resume distribution of TF1’s services to all its subscribers. The move follows a demand by the French ministry of culture that it re-commence distribution on the channel to free-to-air TNT Sat satellite homes, 1.5 million of which cannot receive TV signals from other sources.

Canal+ earlier this week resumed distribution of TF1’s services to all satellite subscribers, including TNT Sat homes.

The pay TV broadcaster has however yet to strike a deal with TF1 that would involve paying any retransmission fees.

TF1 has also still to strike a deal with Free, which has, like Canal+, resisted calls for retransmission fees.