French free TV get HD licences
Four French free-to-air broadcasters have received licences to operate high-definition channels on the country’s digital-terrestrial airwaves. TF1, M6, France Télévision’s France 2 and Arte must start HD broadcasts by the end of April.
The licences, issued by regulator the CSA, run for 10 years. The CSA wants eight HD channels up and running on DTT by the end of the year, but that is looking increasingly unlikely as there has so far been just one candidate for a pay-TV HD DTT licence – Canal+.
France Télévision’s HD project, too, is looking uncertain, despite the licence award. Uncertainty over the public broadcaster’s future financing with the looming advertising ban has cast doubt over expensive high-definition broadcasts.