Tennis stops mobile public channels

By Robert Briel
June 1, 2010 08.09 UK

French subscribers to the mobile TV service of SFR and Bouygues will be deprived of the country’s three main public channels until June 6 due to a rights issue concerning the Roland Garros tennis tournament.
Last October, Orange acquired the exclusive mobile TV rights for the Roland Garros games, and as a result the other French mobile operators had to suspend distribution of the three main public channels, France 2, France 3 and France 4. Orange and France Televisions, the umbrella organisation of the public broadcasters, are working together in the production and distribution of the coverage of the tournament.
Subscribers to the mobile TV services of SFR and Bouygues were not warned about the two week black-out of the channels and have been complaining about the sudden unavailability of the three channels. The viewers do not understand why the channels have been blocked completely rather than just the tennis matches.