French competition authority examines Orange TV

January 12, 2009

The French competition authority Conseil de la Concurrence will investigate exclusive content deals signed by ISPs for their IPTV services, the government has confirmed. Although no parties are being named, the investigation is clearly aimed at the exclusive content deals of Orange TV concerning its premium movie and sports channels.

In a statement, the Ministry of Economy and the Culture said it was “to review in particular, in a context of profound change, the impact of exclusive rights of broadcast television and pay services.” According to the government, France is leading the world in IPTV with over 3.6 million homes subscribing to IP delivered television.

Interestingly, Orange TV, a division of former telecom incumbent France Telecom, has been fighting for and was awarded the right to get access to channels from the Canal+ group for its DTH customers. At the moment, the Orange Sport and Orange Cinéma Séries are exclusively available on Orange IPTV.