The French media authority CSA has announced it has awarded a licence to launch a digital terrestrial pay channel to the French Football League (LFP).
The channel will be called CFoot and create a service dedicated in its entirety to football. It will be made available on a variety of different platforms including cable, satellite and ADSL.
Frédéric Thiriez, president of the LFP, told French press he hopes to get 3.5 million subscribers by 2014, of which 700,000 will be on the DTT network. The channel is due to launch in July 2011.
The license was awarded to the LFP “to give new impetus to pay DTT,” said Françoise Laborde of the CSA, “We know that football is content that attracts viewers and that is what we need for pay DTT.”
The rights to broadcast Ligue 1 in France are currently shared between Canal+, which broadcasts one live match every Sunday evening, and Orange, which airs the Saturday night 21:00 kick-off. However, the existing rights contract is up for renewal at the end of the 2011/12 season.
LFP has received a licence for one of the two DTT channels that are available. The CSA has not yet announced the allocation of the second, with both Canal+ and TV Numeric applying for the position. (See Broadband TV News passim)