Pascale Paoli-Lebailly ©RapidTVNews | 28-11-2011

On Wednesday 30 November, France will turn fully digital with Languedoc Roussillon in metropolitan France and Guyana, Martinique and Guadeloupe the last to complete their digital switch off.

The digital TV process began in 2005 when new DTT channels were launched, and within six years the process has fully transformed French TV landscape. In all, 19 free DTT channels are offered now, compared with six analogue channels before, and six more HD ones are expected to kick off in 2012. Regulatory body CSA also wants to boost the DTT pay-TV arena.
According to public association France Télé Numérique, the switchover calendar has been fully respected with 35% of French TV households going digital in 2010, and 65% the year after.
By 29 November, DTT covered 97.3% of French population, with the exception of blank areas where non-covered households need to find cable, FTTH, IPTV or satellite TV alternatives.
Over the last six years, fragmentation of audiences has been among the biggest issues that firms such as TF1, France Télévisions and M6 have had to cope with. New DTT channels now get a 23.6 % audience share and also withdraw ad revenues from competitors.