More transparency requested for Canal+ channel distribution activity

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 05-03-2013

The French Competition Authority, eager to improve the distribution of theme channels in a market dominated by satellite platform Canalsat, has announced that pay-TV company Canal+ Group has been requested to inject more transparency into the contracts of the channels it carries.
The pay-TV group has therefore transferred reference offers and kinds of common basis (price, conditions) for all contracts, to all channels and distributors.
Exclusivity contracts inked by Canalsat with some theme channels were confidential up until now. Third-party distributors, including Web access providers such as Free, Orange and Bouygues, didn't know how to compete with Canalsat's offers.
Such reference offers are now published on the Authority's website (, which has invited interested parties to pronounce on these offers by no later than 18 March.
The Competition Authority should also give its own agreement a few weeks after all the observations have been collected.
Last July, the Authority decided to impose a series of injunctions against Canal+, after it considered the French pay-TV group didn't respect engagements taken in 2006 at the time of the TPS-Canalsat merger. This contributed to strengthen Canal+'s dominant position.
Canal+ has also been forced to authorise other distributors, including Web access providers, to carry its own movie channels Ciné+ Premier, Ciné+ Frisson, Ciné+ Emotion, Ciné+ Famiz, Ciné+ Classic, Ciné+ Club and Ciné+ Star, which are currently exclusive to Canalsat. The reference offers for these channels are also able to be viewed on the Authority's website.