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IRIS 2010-5:1/24

France

CSA’s Conditional Agreement to TF1’s Purchase of TMC and NT1

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Amélie Blocman

Légipresse

On 23 March 2010, the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (audiovisual regulatory body - CSA) gave its agreement to TF1’s purchase of the AB Group’s free-to-air channels TMC and NT1, adding a number of new conditions, including some involving programmes, to those already laid down by the competition authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) in January 2010. The CSA noted that the plan observed the rules restricting the concentration of DTTV channels and has obtained substantial undertakings from TF1 guaranteeing the pluralism and diversity of the programme offer in the interests of viewers. As a result, the agreements that the CSA is to conclude with TF1 will include stipulations firstly laying down a framework for the synergies among the three channels, with it not being possible to promote NT1 and TMC’s programmes on TF1. Repeat broadcasting of certain TF1 programmes will be limited to just one of the other two channels. TMC and NT1 have also undertaken to broadcast each year 365 and 456 hours respectively of programmes never previously shown. Programming will include a regular cultural broadcast on NT1 and transmission of live shows on both channels. Undertakings have also been given to foster French and European audiovisual creation. The peak viewing times during which NT1 will have to meet its broadcasting quotas have been restricted and brought into line with the other non-specialist free-to-air DTTV channels. The obligations concerning new production imposed on TF1 include a proportion to be shown on NT1 and on TMC. TF1 has also agreed to the early release from rights after the last broadcast, in order to improve the circulation of audiovisual works. The M6 group has announced that it has lodged an appeal for the cancellation of the CSA’s decision with the Conseil d'Etat.

References
Achat de TMC et NT1 par TF1 : accord du CSA assorti d’engagements substantiels FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=12401
 
  Purchase of TMC and NT1 by TF1 - CSA agreement including substantial undertakings