French IPTV provider Orange, part of France Telecom, can keep its Orange Sport and Orange Cinema Series channels exclusively on its IPTV platform, following a verdict by the Court of Cassation (La Cour de cassation).
Orange had already received blessing at the Court of Appeal of Paris on May 14, 2009, with a ruling that even concluded that “such exclusivity was a positive factor for the competition”.
Two competing IPTV platforms, Free and SFR, had appealed against this decision in cassation, arguing they should have been able to access their competitor Orange’s channels.
With the latest verdict, Orange can now keep exclusivity of its premium sports and movies channels.
The outcome of this procedure is very interesting, as Orange itself has filed a complaint with the French competition authority (Autorité de la concurrence ) about the exclusive distribution deal between CanalSat and TF1 (see Broadband TV News passim).
Orange is also said to be in talks with the Canal+ Group about a possible partnership in its premium channels Orange sport and Orange Cinéma séries.
Last week, France Telecom’s new CEO Stephane Richard said the company is going back to its core business and is now looking for partners for its premium TV business (see coverage in Broadband TV News).