French broadcast regulator CSA is to launch a tender for two HD services over the DTT platform within the next few months. In the frame will be the leading commercial channel TF1, which already offers an HD service over satellite and IPTV platforms, and Canal+. The pay-TV broadcaster also has an HD version of the channel and last week announced plans for the launch of a further HD channel in Cinecinemas.
A third channel has been set aside for public broadcasting and this will most likely be allocated to France Télévisions.
CSA President Michel Boyon has said that the priorities for the French digital dividend, once analogue has been switched off, will be for HD, mobile TV and an extension of the existing DTT service.
Separately, outgoing French President Jacques Chirac has said a free-to-air alternative to DTT should be on-air within the year. Canal+ already has a commercial alternative planned; TNTSat launches on June 15.