The Paris Commercial Court dismisses TF1’s complaint to restore its channels on the TNT Sat service.
The black screen which fell on all the channels of the TF1 group for Canal+ subscribers has lasted for twenty-two days and it risks dragging on a little longer.
To regain control, on September 7, the TF1 group summoned its opponent, the Canal+ group, to the Paris Commercial Court. He demanded that the latter restore the signal on his TF1, TMC, TFX, LCI, TF1 Séries Films channels and on his MyTF1 service at least on the DTT distribution service via the satellite which serves the 1.8 million French households. in hard-to-reach areas, especially mountainous ones. Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak had herself sent a letter to the Canal+ group saying that “Cutting the signal of the TF1 group channels on the TNT Sat offer deprives people who can only receive DTT via satellite of any access to the five free channels of the TF1 group”.
But this Thursday, the Paris Commercial Court decided to dismiss the TF1 group. The court advances two arguments. The first is that Arcom, the audiovisual regulator, has itself recognized that “the law does not provide legal leverage to compel operators to remedy this harmful situation”.
The second is that the two contracts, the one on the TNT Sat platform and the one on the TNT platform, are linked. So, if the two parties have not reached a commercial agreement to extend the two contracts beyond August 31, 2022, we cannot force Canal+ to distribute TF1 channels on the TNT Sat platform alone.
Dismissed, the TF1 group announces that it will appeal this decision.
Not only did TF1 lose a first round, but it is itself subject to a summons filed by Canal+ on September 8 before the Nanterre Commercial Court. Canal+ accused the TF1 group of ” abuse of dominant position “ and “discriminatory practices”challenging the terms of the new distribution agreement.
An allegation of abuse of a dominant position which, at the time, echoed the proposed merger between TF1 and M6. A project finally abandoned by both parties last Friday.
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