Will French TV landscape be enriched with new DTT channels?

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly ©RapidTVNews | 10-10-2011

Is the French State trying to please Brussels or get round its decision that regards DTT bonus channel illegal in regard to the European rules?

Maybe both. Though the decision has not been taken yet to abrogate the law giving green light to TF1, M6 and Canal+ bonus channels, French government is now reported to be planning the launch of 6 new DTT channels. This would be a indirect way to allow terrestrial TV groups TF1, M6 and Canal+ to finally launch legally on DTT with their projects developed as part of the bonus channels.
It will also open the door to new channels from groups NRJ and NextRadioTV who are endlessly trying to enlarge their TV offer and maybe to new entrants.
The government would then please all parties, including the European Commission and balance the market after Canal+’s announcement to take over Bolloré’s channels Direct 8 and Direct Star.

According to Le Figaro and Les Echos, French State is about to ask TV regulatory body to launch the call for bids. The creation on early 2012 of six new channels would give a new dimension to DTT, which is already carrying 19 free channels.
But they would be like the previous ones, launched in the DVB-T1 norm while CSA recommends passing to the DVB-T2 standard, which is not ready for operation. But the government will not take this political risk ahead of the 2012 presidential elections as French users would be obliged to change again their TV equipment.