The tug of war continues between Free and Altice, the parent company of the telecom operator SFR and television channels BFMTV, RMC Découverte, RMC Story. Free may stop broadcasting the three channels of the TNT group Altice "from the August 16," said Alain Weill, the CEO of Altice, notified by mail. The reason for this decision lies in the fact that Altice has asked telecom operators to pay for the right to have these services on their box. Agreements were found last year between TF1, M6 and the four telecom operators (Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR and Free), at the cost of lengthy negotiations, and some threats to stop broadcasting. This year, discussions between the group Altice one side and Free, but also, Orange, appear to be at the point of death. For the CEO of Altice, "it is logical that the telecom operators paid a small part of their value to publishers of content." A logic that does not seem to be consensus!agreement to four million
Still, the two parties would be agreed on an amount, approximately € 4 million paid by Free to Altice. "We have reached an agreement on the amount," confrme Alain Weill, the CEO of Altice Europe adds, "we are not in agreement on the vagaries of law". This means that Free would be willing to pay for the programs délinéarisés (replay, catch-up tv...) but not the linear (live programs). "We don't want to take the risk of separating the two services," adds Alain Weill. Such an assembly would leave the field free to Free, which could one day decide to continue to disseminate the direct, but more services are catching up. However, Alain Weill definitely wants to avoid such a split. For him all forms a single block. It has also announced that in September, BFM TV propose a new service, in partnership with the Ina, giving you access to "images from the archives in connection with the news".
In a decision made on 31 July, the conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA) was estimated as " Free "could freely refuse to resume the channels BFMTV, RMC Découverte and RMC Story and their associated services". Added to this was a decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) of Paris who condemns Free to 100.000 euro penalty per day if it continues to spread BFMTV, RMC Découverte and RMC Story after the 27th of August, without having reached an agreement with Altice. Free, takes the lead in the next few days, which has not failed to respond Altice. By ceasing the broadcast of three channels of the group, Patrick Drahi, it does so increase the pressure in negotiations.
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For its part, the group Altice has made it known since the 14th August in the morning that, in pursuance of the decision of the TGI, "Free must in the next few days to stop the broadcast of the channels BFMTV, RMC Découverte and RMC Story". The group Altice also points out that its three channels, which "amounted to the overall 6.3% of national audience share on the season 2018-2019, will remain available via the box of the authorized operators, DTT, Internet and satellite". It is the cumulation of the hearings of the three channels.
The viewers subscribers for Free, watching tv via their Free box and wish to continue to enjoy these channels, therefore, have three options: plug in a box on the TNT and, in this case, the operation will be transparent to them, or you can access it via the satellite, provided you have this service, or go through the Internet, which can be done relatively easily with any connected tv. But in this case, the zapping gets less fluid and Altice could see its audience share eroded by disappearing of the Free box.
once more, the CEO of Altice highlights the evolution of the competitive landscape to justify his request. For Free, a shutdown of the broadcast would not be discriminatif. The channels are still available on the FREEVIEW or the Internet. The result of the debate between the two protagonists will depend on who has the most to lose: on the one hand Free is holding to its subscribers, on the other Altice to its viewers, and its audience share.Updated Date: 15 August 2019, 00:00