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Altice France and Free in battle over TV carriage terms

Altice France and Iliad Telecom/Free are engaged in a battle of wills over carriage terms for the former’s NextRadioTV channels that could see the services disappear from the Free platform from March 20.

Altice has threatened to pull its channels – BFMTV, RMC Découverte, RMC Story and BFM Business – from the Freebox if an agreement cannot be struck.

Altice has been engaged in a battle to secure carriage fees for its free channels following the success of national commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 in securing better terms for their own channels after a period of sometimes intense discord between the TV channel providers and operators – including Altice France-owned SFR, which questioned the legality of TF1’s approach.

Altice’s channels have a smaller audience than the national free-to-air services of TF1 and M6, but the group does hold key sports rights, including Champions League football, the free-to-view final of which is set to be aired on BFMTV on June 1.