The Paris commercial court has ordered Orange to make its premium channel Orange Sport available to all French TV platforms on a non-exclusive basis. Owner France Telecom is expected to appeal against the decision that followed a complaint by IPTV rivals Free and SFR.
Orange now has one month to provide rival operators with a wholesale offer for the carriage of the channel or face a penalty set at €50,000 per day. The court told France Telecom that the existing proposition that bundled together a number of distinct services was unfair and that by reserving the channel – previously branded as Orange Foot – for itself it had gained an unfair advantage in winning customers from its rivals.
Earlier this month Canal+ CEO Bertrand Meheut accused Orange of bundling its premium sports and movie channels to its ADSL service, while selling access to top-flight French football at a loss.