French broadcast regulator CSA is launching a consultation over the ordering of channels within electronic programme guides. It follows a number of approaches from thematic channels over their treatment by the country’s digital platforms.
The proposal is to catagorise channels into set categories and establish a numbering scheme on the various platforms. Definitions will be given to channels based on their schedules and criteria established to decide in which category a channel should be placed.
The consultation follows the introduction on March 5 of a new law covering the modernisation of audio-visual distribution.
When BSkyB launched its digital service ten years ago, channels were allocated positions based on their audience figures at that time. Although empty spaces were left for sister channels, broadcasters that have significantly expanded their portfolio have simply been added to the bottom of the list, giving valuable EPG ‘real estate’ to smaller channels in key positions. Life TV is reportedly considering the sale of its slots in the lower 100s to Channel 4.