The fact that France24 would become available on digital terrestrial – or the TNT network as the French call it – was first announced by Aurélie Filippetti, minister of culture.
The channel is already available nationwide on cable, IPTV, satellite DTH, and as a streaming web service, but its owners, France Médias Monde, have also requested DTT distribution in the nation’s capital.
The French government has now used its power to pre-empt the licencing process by granting France24 a place on the Paris multiplex, which also broadcasts a number of local channels. France 24 takes the place of NRJ Paris, which ceased broadcasting due to lack of revenue.
France 24 now joins the public channels France 2, France 5, France 5 Arte and La Chaine Parlementaire-Public Sénat.
Following the launch, there will now be four all-news free-to-air channels available on TNT in Ile-de-France (Paris and environs), i-Télé from Canal+ Group, BFM TV, BFM Business and France24. News channel LCI (La Chaine Infromation from TF1) remains encrypted, although TF1 has requested media authority CSA to turn LCI into a free-to-air channel, in order to better compete.
In a related development, private broadcaster TF1 has now also requested that its pay channel Paris-Premiere into a free-to-air channel. France’s terrestrial pay channels are having a tough time surviving and TF1 wants to end encryption of all its DTT channels.