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French broadcasters making concessions to secure Salto green light

The major French broadcasters involved in the Salto subscription video-on-demand project have proposed significant concessions in a bid to secure a green light from the country’s competition watchdog, according to a report by financial daily Les Echos.

The paper says it has seen a confidential document that details some 20 commitments made to the Autorité de la Concurrence to which France Télévisions, TF1 and M6 have signed up. These include placing a 40% limit on the amount of non-movie content aired on the platform that can be supplied on an exclusive basis by the three broadcasters.

According to the document, the broadcasters have also committed to limit the amount of content rights they hold back from licensing to third parties in order to make that content available to Salto.

According to the financial daily, the Salto stakeholders have also accepted the principle of non-discriminatory conditions in the supply of channels to the platform, so that Salto will distribute the broadcaster’s channels under the same financial terms that they would be made available to other platform operators, such as Orange, SFR, Canal+, Free and Bouygues Telecom.

Similarly channels will not be made available on an exclusive basis to Salto.

The broadcasters have also agreed not to cross-promote their free-to-air channels on Salto and to create Chines walls between their own teams and that of the SVOD service.

All commitments are for five years, according to Les Echos.

Salto reached the French regulator after months of delay. The notification to the Autorité – which was made in June – followed a decision by the European Commission in March, after a significant delay, to send the project back to the French watchdog, judging that the national regulator was more competent to investigate it.