Yesterday the French media authority CSA ruled that two commercial broadcasters will each receive a licence for an HD channel on the DTT network; a third channel is already reserved by the government for public broadcaster France2.
TF1 HD and M6 HD were chosen by the authority as they will broadcast free to air and thus reach the largest potential audience possible. The three channels should start their broadcasts as early as the spring of 2008. The two broadcasters have committed themselves to airing at least 100% and 80% of their programme output in HD by 2012. The broadcasts will take place in MPEG4.
Before the end of the year the CSA will also invited applications for an encrypted pay-TV channel which now broadcasts in SD quality. Also, the authority will open up applications for three further HD channels in a umber of urban areas. By the end of next year, the total number of HD channels available on DTT should have reached eight.