HD1 and Numéro 23 target 1.9% and 1% audience share by 2016

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 20-11-2012

TF1's drama channel HD1 and diversity-skewed net Numéro 23 were the last among the six new French DTT HD channels to unveil their programming yesterday.

Starting with a €50 million budget, HD1 will line up 250 movies each year, with original films making up 15%, along with French and US TV series and short programming. The first original creations will be launched in mid-2013, and will include comedy shorts and a daily serial.

With a budget oscillating between €30-€35 million, the all-genres channel Numéro 23 points out it will offer the new US series Community, the Canadian production Lost Girl, as well as magazine formats and a weekly talk show. Numéro 23 will « highlight all forms of diversity through entertaining programmes » explained channel president Pascal Houzelot. Houzelot also founded the gay-oriented channel Pink TV a few years ago.

Set to launch on 12 December, the two channels, like their counterparts, express audience ambitions with quite limited financial means. HD1 hopes to reach 1.9% in 2016 while Numéro 23 is aiming for 1%. Comparatively, the women's channel Chérie 25 is aiming for between 0.5% and 1% , family 6Ter looks for 1.6%, while doc channel RMC Découverte aims higher at 2% in 2018, and sport TV L'Equipe HD oscillates between 1.3% and 1.4% in the short term.

According to analysts, the six new channels should globally reach around 6% or more cumulated audience share by 2015, with forecasts of 7-7.5% at the end of 2016. There is a high risk of free DTT channels installed in 2005 losing some audience points owing to this new competition, maybe more than for FTA's traditional channels like TF1 and M6.