Orange channels score 363,000 subs

Pascale Paoli Lebailly

Orange’s French pay-TV channels, Orange Sport and Orange Cinéma Series, scored 363,000 subscribers by the end of March 2009 up from 300,000 at the end of February. According to the French operator, these figures mean that one Orange IPTV customer out of four, which is 2.2 million people, are using Orange TV services.

The group counts 8.5 million IPTV subs and holds 49.2% of the total market.

The announcement was made by the France Télécom subsidiary even though Orange Sport’s commercialization has been suspended because of on-going judiciary process, launched after a joint complaint from competitors SFR and Free. Condemned a few weeks ago by the Paris Tribunal of Commerce not to tie an Orange Sport subscription to a triple-play service, Orange has appealed the decision. But the company had to suspend the sale of Orange Sport until the final decision of Paris Court of appeal be taken. That could take place today.

France’s Autorité de la Concurrence will also decide soon upon a government request for a ruling on exclusive content offered by web access suppliers. This question is also targeting Orange’s pay-TV channels.

Presenting its first quarter results for 2009, France Télécom posted €12.6 bn in revenues, down 2.6% compared to the first three months of 2008.