Canal+ Group, the Vivendi-owned French TV group, has won its court case against TF1 after being sued by latter following a dispute over carriage fees. The ruling was issued on Sept. 22 by the business court of Paris.
Chaired by Maxime Saada (pictured), Canal+ was previously distributing TF1 and its channels TFX, TF1 Séries Films and LCI on its subscription-based services, including its VOD service MyCanal (which reaches 5.4 million subscribers), and as part of its TNT Sat platform which provides approximately 2 million households with access to all French channels.
But when their pact was about to expire on Aug. 31, TF1 tried to renegotiate the terms of the agreements and asked Canal+ to pay 50% more for the right to distribute its free-to-air channels. Canal+ refused and subsequently stopped distributing them, leading TF1 to sue the banner.
“TF1 lost all its claims… The group wanted to force Canal+ to reinstate the signal for all its free channels on Canal’s TNT Sat platform without allowing Canal+ subscribers to access them,” said Canal+ in a release. “Canal+ is asking TF1 Group to be more responsible to ensure that it respects its own programming obligations and commits to distribute its free-to-air channels as soon it will allow Canal+ to distribute them freely.”
TF1 reacted to the ruling with a long statement explaining it will appeal the court decision and said it “strongly regretted this situation which deprives million of French households from quality news, big family entertainment and major sports events, notably soccer games from the French team.”
TF1 channels are already distributed on every major telco platform in France, including SFR, Free, Bouygues Telecom and Orange, as well as Molotov and Salto. TF1 said all these deals have been renewed under the same conditions presented to Canal+.