The French State Council (Conseil d’Etat) has ordered the CanalSat platform, in a decision released last Friday, July 10, to issue a non-discriminatory spot on its EPG to the business news channel BFM TV.
Last December, the French media authority CSA ruled that CanalSat had to give BFM TV the same channel position (15) on its EPG as on the national terrestrial network. Instead, CanalSat put the business news channel on number 55, far away from the competing news channel, i-Tele, which is owned by the Canal+ Group, as is the CanalSat platform.
CanalSat appealed the decision by the CSA and the State Council suspended the CSA ruling while looking at the case (see Broadband TV News passim). In its ruling, the Council confirmed the decision by the CSA. CanalSat now has to place BFM TV on channel number 15.
It is a very important victory for BFM TV, which has been asking CanalSat to stop this unfair treatment for several years. Alain Weill, chairman of BFM TV, told French press: “It is a major decision for BFM TV and for pluralism of information. The State Council has recognized that a group could not use his status to promote one of its own channels. The competition between channels is necessary, but it must be a healthy and fair competition. “