French media regulator awards mobile TV licences

Wednesday 28 May 2008 | 09:03 CET | News

French audiovisual regulator CSA has awarded DVB-H personal mobile TV broadcast licences to thirteen private channels. There are two new entrants, France Telecom’s Orange Sports and film director Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp TV. The other eleven are BFM TV, Canal Plus, Direct 8, Eurosport, I-Tele, M6, NRJ 12, NT1, TF1, Virgin 17 and W9. CSA has also reserved three channels for public broadcasters France 2, France 3 and Arte. The regulator had received 36 mobile TV licence applications. CSA head Michel Boyon said that if spectrum is freed up by the analogue switch-off, the body would issue a tender for around fifteen more mobile TV channels in 2009.


Les Echos reports that CSA advisor Elisabeth Flury-Herard explained that the eleven existing channels were chosen for their popularity, as they represent 48 percent of the national audience and between 72 and 75 percent of the private TV audience. She added that up to one-third of the content of the mobile version of existing channels could be different. Only two pay mobile TV channels were selected, Eurosport, which will charge EUR 1 per month, and Canal Plus, which will charge EUR 25 to non-subscribers to its regular pay TV service and EUR 15 to subscribers. Canal Plus aims to reach break-even in three years with 500,000 mobile TV subscribers. All of the other channels will feature in the basic mobile TV package which will be paid for by mobile phone subscriptions or included in the cost of pocket TVs themselves.


Sports information channel Orange Sports TV has been available since September 2007 over the internet, the operator’s mobile portal, and on ADSL TV. It will feature one to six-minute programmes, live broadcasts four hours per day, and two to four news bulletins every hour. Thanks to an agreement with the French national and Olympic sports committee the channel will pay particular attention to under-represented sports in the media, but will also cover French football, for which France Telecom has acquired broadcast rights.

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