The French private broadcasters Canal+, TF1 and M6 are looking to create a common Catch-up TV platform, according to a report in Les Echos. At the moment, about ten million French viewers use at least one of these services.
Creating a common platform would make it easier for consumers to access Catch-up services and broadcasters would be able to charge more for their online advertising. The model the broadcasters are looking for resembles US based Hulu and the UK plans for Kangaroo.
According to the report, the three presidents of the channels, Nicolas de Tavernost (M6), Nonce Paolini (TF1) and Bertrand Méheut (Canal+), have been talking about a joint web TV venture since last March.
In order to prevent accusations of a possible monopoly situation, such as happened in the UK, the broadcasters will open the platform for all broadcasters.
Other French broadcasters are now rapidly deploying online Catch-up services. The Franco-German cultural channel Arte has already offered a service for some time, as have the public channels from France Télévisions. Now other, smaller, national French channels are launching such a service. Last March, TMC was the first, with Direct 8 following in August. BFMTV, Gulli and Virgin 17 are set to follow suit.
At the moment, M6 has no less than 79% of all its broadcast programmes available on its online Catch-up service. For Canal+ the percentage is 72% (only available to paying Canal subscribers), and for TF1 41%.