The reason for the move is the change in Eurosport France’s shareholders. The channel is currently owned 80% by French commercial broadcaster TF1 and 20% by Discovery Communications,
majority owner of Eurosport International since June 2014.
The US media group will soon increase its stake in Eurosport France to 51%. The take-over of the controlling interest prompts the channel’s DTT retreat: The shareholding of a non-European company in a TV channel distributed terrestrially in France must not exceed 20%.
In addtion, there might be a business reason from withdrawing from the TNT network; Eurosport was offered as a ‘low pay’ channel, a business model which does not seem to work in France for digital terrestrial, as is testifeied by a number of closures of such channels, including kids channel Canal J, Groupe AB’s AB1, while more recently, TF1’s LCI, Première and Planete+ asked to be moved from pay to free-to-air distribution. In December, TF6 terminated its broadcasts.
At the moment, the French TNT network continues to offer the following pay channels: Paris Premiere, Planete+, LCI (news) and the Canal+ channels, Canal+ Cinema and Canal+ Sport.