Three candidates have emerged for the French DTT pay-TV capacity that was freed up by the exit of Canal J and AB1 as premium terrestrial channels. Canal+, TV Numeric and the French football league are the bidders.
In the past two years, two pay-TV broadcasters have handed back their licences to the CSA: Groupe AB’s AB1 in October 2008 and Lagardere Interactive Canal J in April, 2009. Earlier this year, the French media authority CSA launched a tender for this capacity.
The French football league Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) is one of the three interested parties. The LFP has taken op the idea to launch its own live football channel after pay TV operator Orange decided to abandon the premium TV business as a content provider. At this moment, the matches of the LFP are divided between Canal+ and Orange Sport.
Canal+ has also applied for a licence for its Canal+ Family channel. At the moment., Canal+ has its main Canal+ channel available on digital terrestrial in both SD and HD versions, as well as the Canal+ Sport channel.
TV Numeric is also a candidate; the company already offers a number of premium channels over the DTT network and now wants to expand its offer with push-VOD services.
The current channel line up for TV Numeric is Paris Première, TF6, Planète, LCI and Eurosport, A bouquet that has attracted just under 50,000 subscribers according to sources, which we cannot verify.
The CSA said it will issue the licences next January following a public consultation in December.