Canal+ reportedly seeking shorter commitment for DTT licence

Canal+ subscriber numbers upFrench pay TV outfit Canal+ is looking to finalise a new licence to broadcast on France’s digital-terrestrial platform within the next few weeks, but is pressing for a reduced period for the renewal, according to a report by financial daily Les Echos.

The pay TV operator has blown hot and cold on renewing its DTT frequency for some time amid concerns about mounting costs and restrictive licensing terms. According to Les Echos it is pressing for the period to which it would have to commit to secure a renewal to three, or even two, years.

Interviewed by regulator ARCOM last year, Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada had pressed for the right to be able to withdraw from the DTT platform with reasonable warning as a condition for continuing to participate.

Canal+’s digital-terrestrial license for its flagship channel is set to expire at the end of this year.

The news comes amid renewed controversy over the future of Canal+-owned news channel CNews and C8, with culture minister Rima Abdul Malak issuing a warning via an interview in Le Monde that Canal+ must remember the obligations it undertakes in relation to content on its channels to secure authorisation to broadcast.

Malak, in this case responding to comments made by controversial comedian and presenter Cyril Hanouna on his programme Touche Pas Mon Poste on C8, reflected that CNews and C8 had already been subject to multiple warnings over content by ARCOM.

The DTT licences for CNews and C8 are set to expire at in February 2025.

French media entrepreneur Xavier Niel’s NJJ Médias unit recently lodged an application to operate a digital-terrestrial channel, competing for a frequency with national broadcasters TF1 and M6. While observers believe Niel has little chance of supplanting either network, there has been speculation that he have an eye on opportunities further down the line.

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