TF1 and M6 looking at joint web portal
February 13, 2012 By Robert Briel

French private broadcasters TF1 and M6 are looking to create a common S-VOD portal offering US series. So far, the efforts have failed.

The broadcasters’ plan is to establish joint service, which should costs between €5 and €10 a month for unlimited access to recent US series such as The Mentalist and House (to which TF1 holds the online rights) ad NCIS, which is owned by M6.

According to a report in Les Echos, the French VOD market is booming, growing with 50% during the past year. In 2011, a total turnover of €230 million was reached. The two websites of TF1 and M6 also noticed a surge in traffic after the close down of the MegaUpload website.

Enter Netflix and Amazon’s Lovefilm. All French video portals are now bracing themselves for the arrival of the US S-VOD service and cooperation between TF1 and M6 would make sense.

Meanwhile, Canal+ has beefed up its online video presence with a S-VOD service offering ‘thousands of titles’ for a monthly fee of €9.99.

As long ago as 2009, Canal+ also entered into talks with both TF1 and M6 to launch a common catch-up TV portal, but the idea never materialised. Now talks between TF1 and M6 also seem to have failed.

Although a common S-VOD platform for US series makes business sense, the regulator might not give it a green light. The US studios trying to maximise their profits will also not like a de facto monopoly.