France Télévisions secures victory in PlayMédia case

French public broadcaster France Télévisions has won a victory in an ongoing legal battle with online TV provider PlayMédia, operator of the service to prevent the latter from retransmitting its services.

The Cour de Cassation denied PlayMédia’s claim to redistribute services subject to must-carry obligations by denying it the status of distributor.

PlayMédia may still have a route to be able to redistribute the pubcaster’s channels if the French Conseil d’État rules in its favour later this year.

France’s media regulator the CSA granted PlayMédia the status of a channel distributor which would allow it to benefit from the country’s must-carry rules. However, the broadcaster contested the online TV service’s right to air its channels without permission, accusing Playmédia of unfair competition, and secured a judgement with the Court of Appeal of Paris against the online outfit.

The Cour de Cassation ruled that PlayMédia does not qualify as an electronic communication network used for the distribution of radio and TV channels, that to benefit from must-carry it had to strike a contract with France Télévisions.

The court also accepted the pubcaster’s claim of unfair competition on the grounds that PlayMédia provided access to France Télévisions’ catch-up services through pages branded with its own Play TV logo without reference to the pubcaster’s own Pluzz catch-up offering.

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