New channels profit from digital distribution

March 3, 2009 | 09:21 UK

The new French channels that came on the air on the free-to-air digital terrestrial television are the main beneficiaries of the new technology with an increasing share of the viewership, according to the latest research from Médiamétrie.

By contrast, the main commercial and public broadcasters (or “historic channels as the French call them) have seen their audience shares reduced. In February 2009, the main channels attracted a share of 73%.
The new free-to-air channels achieved an audience of 14%, against 13.5% in January and 10.1% a year ago. Local and (French language versions of) foreign broadcasters have a total share of 13% (against 12.3% a year ago).

Since the launch of digital terrestrial in March 2005, the new FTA channels have seen their audience grow at the cost of diminishing shares for the existing broadcasters. Commercial TF1 remains the leader, with 26.2%. But it continues to fall compared to January (26.7%) and February 2008 (27.5%).

Of the public broadcasters, France 2 recorded in February 16.4%, against 16.7% in January and 18.3% a year ago. France 3 recorded 12.1%, against 12.3% in January and 13.2% in February 2008. France 5 has shown an audience share of 3.1% against 3% in January and unchanged on a year, while that Arte was 1.6%, unchanged in January and down from 1.7% a year ago.

Commercial broadcaster M6 has achieved an audience share of 10.9%, against 11% in January and 10.7% in February 2008. Canal + was 3.3%, against 3.2% in January and 3.8% a year ago.

TMC remains the leader of the new entrants on digital terrestrial, with 2.4% audience share (unchanged on a month). It is followed by W9 (owned by the M6 group) with 2.2% (down 0.1 point), Gulli (1.9%, up 0.1 point), NRJ12 (1.4%, up 0.2 point ), NT1 (1.3%, up 0.2%), Direct 8 (1.1%, unchanged), France 4 (1%, unchanged), BFM TV (0.6%, an increase of 0,1%) and Virgin 17 (0.6%, up 0.1%) and i-Tele (0.4%, unchanged).