• CSA to curb Canal+’s power

    CSA to curb Canal+’s power

    Pascale Paoli-Lebailly ©RapidTVNews | 03-05-2012

    The CSA is to file a lawsuit for violation of the professional confidentiality against pay-TV firm Canal+ who in turn has expressed its anger following the French TV regulator’s proposal about the canalsat-TPS merger, leaked into the French media.
    Consulted by French Competition Authority, which last year withdrew TPS-Canal+ merger agreement , the CSA is working on a pattern of much stricter restrictions to be imposed to Canal+ on French pay-TV market. These proposals intend to control Canal+ Group’s power regarding development of alternative premium sport or movie offers.

    The CSA plans to maintain the 59 rules that Canal+ was supposed to respect after the merger with competitive dish platform became official in 2007. But the French regulator is to go further and add new ones.
    Regarding sport TV rights, the pay-TV channel will not be able to buy both pay-TV and FTA rights of one event. The group also invests a lot into the movie industry via its StudioCanal affiliate.
    The CSA proposes that StudioCanal’s library be accessible to all distributors. The same for Canal+ original drama productions, after first pay-TV run. New measures could also curb Canal+’s dominant position with CanalPlay in the VOD market. The group would be forbidden to buy exclusive rights to recent French, European and US films.

    The 66/34 JV with platform Orange about the Cinéma séries package would also also questioned.
    In a statement, Canal+ says it is shocked by the leak and if all this is true, it would seriously “challenge French and European audiovisual creation”. According to Canal+, such measures would not target to settle down questions of unfair competition, but above all “prevent the arrival, in the FTA market, of any competitor to private groups TF1 and M6, which are holding 75 % of the advertising market.”

    Following the acquisition of FTA DTT channels Direct Star and Direct 8, which is still submitted to the French authorities’ green light, Canal+ plans to enter the FTA TV market and built up an alternative offer.