Orange and TF1 Group sign carriage deal
March 9, 2018 07.20 Europe/London By Robert Briel
Orange and the TF1 Group have signed a new global distribution agreement, covering both the linear channels and advanced services.
This agreement renews Orange’s distribution of all TF1 Group channels and their accompanying non linear services. No details of the agreement were published.
TF1 was originally seeking €20 million for all its channels and services, but according to Le Monde, an amount between €10 and €13 million was reached.
Orange says the distributor does not pay for the free-to-air channels, but TF1 insists it’s all part of the ‘package’ agreed .
The TF1 Group has run into trouble with its distribution partners, including Canal + and Orange, over carriage fees. TF1 was demanding renumeration for its free-to-air channels, that are available at no cost on other platforms, as well as bundling them with premium channels and on-demand services.
With linear television in decline, as well as dropping advertising income, TF1 is now seeking alternative sources of incomes, which led to the recent stand-off between the broadcaster and Orange and Canal.
The broadcaster and its distribution partners, however, can not without the other After Canal+ decided to drop the TF1 channels, TF1 lost 12% of its audience during the dispute, according to BFM Business. Within a week, French regulator CSA stepped in and ordered Canal to restore distribution.
At the end of January, TF1 and Bouygues Telecom signed a new distribution agreement that integrates the TF1 free-air channels and its premium offer and additional services, but that should come as no surprise as the Bouygues group also owns TF1.
The new deal with Orange includes a number of additional services, such as the MYTF1 replay with extended broadcast windows; access to preview of programmes before their actual TV broadcasts, as well as “innovative and advanced features that will enable Orange to launch new services.”
The deal also covers two new time-shifted channels, TF1+ 1 and TMC+1, available at the beginning of 2018.
The broadcasting in UHD 4K quality of selected event programmes (FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, Rugby World Cup Japan 2019, Formula 1 Grand Prix)
This partnership is also accompanied by the enrichment of TFOUMax’s on-demand service for children and the renewal of the distribution agreements for TV Breizh, Ushuaia TV and Histoire.
Orange and the TF1 Group have also agreed to collaborate on the development of targeted and enhanced advertising solutions for TF1 services distributed on Orange platforms.
The MYTF1 service, suspended on February 1, 2018 by TF1, will be available to Orange subscribers from Monday, March 12.