Following a landmark decision by the French media authority CSA TF1’s news channel LCI will start broadcasting free-to-air on the nation’s DTT network, known locally as TNT.
The channel will become available on channel number 26 from April 5. Last Friday, the CSA announced the date that the channel could go FTA.
“This is a very important week for LCI, marked by the signing of our agreement it two days ago, and now the announcement of the date of transition on channel 26 of the DTT. I am delighted and very exciting for all the teams involved in an adventure that is realised today, “said Catherine Nayl, deputy director of information TF1 Group.
LCI has been seeking to turn the channel into a free-to-air signal since 2011, but BFMTV, a free-to-air news channel, was opposed to such a move and has been able to keep LCI encrypted until now.
The French DTT network is mainly free-to-air and the few premium channels are finding it hard to attract enough subscribers. During the past few years, a number of encrypted channels have stopped broadcasting on the TNT network as they were unable to find a viable pay-TV business model.
Launched in 1994, LCI was initially envisaged to be a pay channel.