Bolloré is in the midst of emergency control at the Canal+ group and the news channel is bleeding money, EUR16 million of losses was recorded in 2014, EUR20 million in 2015 and a further EUR24 million is expected in 2016. The state of affairs at the group is so desperate, that even closing down all of Canal+ activities in France is a possibility.
The recent decision by media authority CSA to allow TF1’s news channel LCI to go free-to-air will add even more pressure to the results of iTélé , so the report by website Mediapart that Bolloré considers selling the channel comes as no surprise.
Among the possible potential buyers, the site names Patrick’s Drahi’s Altice and NextRadioTV as a possible buyer for the news channel. NextRadioTV already owns and operates BFMTV, a free-to-air news channel, as well as BFM Business, a 24/7 business news channel.
Another possible buyer could be the Media One media investment group formed last year by Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse and Pierre-Antoine Capto.