Court rules in favour of Canal+ in TF1 TNTSat dispute

Canal+ subscriber numbers upA French court has ruled in favour of Canal+ Group in a legal spat with commercial broadcaster TF1 over the pay TV operator’s decisions to pull the latter’s channels from free-to-view satellite platform TNTSat.

The Tribunal de Paris ruled that Canal+ does not need to distribute TF1’s channels on the satellite platform despite a call by TF1 to force it to do so.

Canal+ and TF1 have been in dispute over carriage terms, with the pay TV operator pulling TF1’s channels from its pay TV offering after the pair’s previous contract expired.

Canal+ pulled TF1’s channels from its own pay TV platform, the MyCanal streaming service and TNTSat, which is operated by Canal+, on September 2 after negotiations between the pair broke down.

However TF1 mounted a legal challenge to the extension of Canal+’s withdrawal of its channels to the free satellite platform, which is designed to complement digital-terrestrial distribution.

Canal+ welcomed the decision of the court and said that TF1 had demanded a 50% higher fee for the carriage of its free-to-view channels on the Canal+ platform than in the previous contract.

TF1 said it regretted the decision and argued that viewers of the TNTSat platform were in effect hostage to a dispute that should not concern them.

TNTSat reaches around two million households across France.

TF1 maintains that its contract with Canal+ does not concern TNTSat, which it says is offered by Canal+ as a separate service from its pay TV offering.

Canal+ is authorised to distribute channels on the platform without, according to TF1, paying it anything in return. This led the group to mount its legal challenge, calling for the Tribunal to re-establish the service, which is used by homes in areas that do not have terrestrial coverage.

TF1 said it would now pursue the matter with the Paris Court of Appeal.

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