Alain Weill, president of the NextRadioTV group, owner of the French news channel BFM TV, has accused the Canal+ Group of trying to manipulate the audience in favour of the i-Tele news channel by having the CanalSat receivers automatically tune to their news channel.
Weill has complained to both the media authority CSA and the competition authority. During a press conference he showed the audience how a CanalSat receiver would automatically tune to i-Tele when switched on.
Canal+ reacted immediately to the accusation, claiming this concerns an experimental marketing campaign amongst a restricted number of its subscribers for a limited time only. According to Canal, 1.8 satellite viewers are part of the experiment out of a total of 48.6 million people who can receive i-Tele and BFM TV.
The situation arises at a time when the CSA has to decide about another complaint by BFM TV with regards to the numbering of the EPG. The Canal+ owned i-Tele is on position #50, while BFM TV is placed at #54, behind Euronews and La Chaîne parlementaire. It comes as no surprise that BFM TV is complaining about this placing.