Altice France expands regional TV service further

Altice France has taken another step forward with its strategy of becoming a significant player in French regional and local TV by acquiring Azur TV, a channel covering the Cote d’Azur region.

The latest acquisition, which is subject to approval by media regulator the CSA, follows Altice’s acquisition and rebranding or launch of channels BFM Paris, BFM Lyon, BFM Grand Lille and BFM Grand Littoral under its BFM Regions unit. The company is set to launch channels BFM Dici Haute-Provence and BFM Dici Alpes-du-Sud at the beginning of March.

Altice said the latest acquisition would enable it to offer local news and services from Nice to Marseille. The company said that the southern region of France was of strategic importance to it given the scale of its service provider arm SFR’s investment in fibre and 4G and 5G mobile there. SFR launched its 5G offer in Nice in November last year.

Altice said that the acquisition of Azur TV would allow it to complete its coverage of the Sud-Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, with the Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhone, Var and Vaucluse departments added to the Alpes de Haute-Provence and the Hautes-Alps.

The company said that its investment in regional channels was bearing fruit, with a study by ratings agency Mediametrie for the final quarter of last year showing that its BFM Paris, BFM Lyon, BFM Grand Lille and BFM Grand Littoral channels had been watched by 4.9 million viewers, or 36% of the available audience. It said that over this period the local channels had been watched by 2.9 million viewers per week and 930,000 viewers each day.

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