Orange looking at French terrestrial pay-TV
By Robert Briel
January 20, 2010 08.06 UK
France Telecom-owned Orange is interested in obtaining at least one terrestrial pay-TV channel when the media authority CSA opens up a tender.
In the past two years, two pay-TV broadcasters have handed back their licence to the CSA: Groupe AB’s AB1 in October 2008 and Lagardere Interactive Canal J in April, 2009. The CSA is due to decide any moment on the future of these two vacant spots on the digital terrestrial network.
Orange has a number of premium channels on its IPTV and DTH platforms under the brand names Orange Sport and Orange Cinéma Séries, which have around 400,000 subscribers. The operator is currently under fire for its policy to exclusively sell these channels to their ADSL customers.
At the moment the French digital terrestrial network offers at least 18 FTA channels (more in some regions) and nine pay-TV channels, as well as five HD simulcasts. With the closure of the two pay channels and the recent acquisition of TnTop by TV Numeric, there is some doubt about the viability of premium channels on the terrestrial platform.