New French DTT channels expect to lose money

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 07-11-2012

One month ahead of their launch on 12 December, the six new French HD DTT channels are about to enter a very competitive market, and are expected to lose money for a long time.

This is the prediction of TF1 CEO Nonce Paolini as he spoke on Tuesday at NPA’s bi-yearly business meeting. According to Paolini, the ad market can’t currently finance 25 FTA channels.
Besides, in addition to advertising, they will have to put by €10 million for broadcasting costs once they cover the whole of France in 2014. All the new networks attended the meeting, with the exception of diversity-skewed channel Numéro 23. The networks explained their strategies to conquer the audience and the ad market and target well-off viewers. Chérie 25, a channel for women (NRJ Group), L’Equipe HD which is dedicated to sport, HD1 a drama channel (TF1), RMC Découverte focusing on documentaries (NextRadioTV) and family channel 6Ter (M6), all promised programming that would "answer the viewers expectations" and "target a large audience". "We will offer a complementary line-up to what already exists on the FTA DTT market, and that targets the 15-35 demographic" stressed HD1 MD Fabrice Mollier. The channel will offer 240 movies a year and hopes to reach 1.9% audience share by 2017, with viewers aged between 25-59. Family channel 6Ter, has indicated 40 % of its schedules will be made up of original productions, mostly with magazine programmes. MD Catherine Schöfer plans to reach between 1.6% to 1.7% audience share by 2015. Magazines will also make up the core programmes of Chérie 25. With its documentary-oriented line-up, RMC Découverte announced it will break even with at least 1% of audience share. Finally all the networks said they expect to attract new kinds of TV announcers, those who can’t afford to go to the FTA traditional channels. The competition has begun and those TV groups backing these new channels must show a capacity to bring innovative line-ups if they want to emerge as leaders.