French broadcasters plan catch-up TV platform

French broadcasters Canal+, TF1 and M6 are planning to create a common catch-up TV platform to aggregate their VOD content in one place, according to report in yesterday's edition of French newspaper Les Echos.

According to the report, the Presidents of the three broadcasters have been in talks to form a joint online TV venture since last March. They already operate their own services, such as M6 Replay, but pooling their services together is expected to give greater advertising returns and form a stronger riposte to the encroachment of online video sites such as Hulu and YouTube, according to Les Echos.

At present, around 10mn French viewers now use a catch-up TV service from one of the country's broadcasters on a regular basis. TF1 is also a partner in the recently-announced Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) initiative, formed by a group of European broadcasters and device manufacturers to harmonise the broadcast and broadband delivery of news, information and entertainment to the end consumer through TVs and set-top boxes with an optional Internet connection, with compatible devices expected to be in the shops before this Christmas.