In front of Arcom, M6 and TF1 play their next ten years of existence

Certainly, the day of Wednesday, February 15 will appear in the annals of French audiovisual. For the first time since M6 existed (1987), its president, Nicolas de Tavernost, had to defend before the Regulatory Authority for Audiovisual and Digital Communication (Arcom, ex-CSA) his wish to use a TNT frequency, property of the state for the next ten years.

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Also for the first time, a competitor contested the automatic renewal of the authorization which had, in fact, been granted to him until then: Xavier Niel (individual shareholder of the World) would like in turn to have the radio resource officially available from May 6th.

The founder of Iliad (Free) unveiled his project for a television channel, baptized “SIX”, in front of the college of authority from 9:15 a.m. Nicolas de Tavernost had the opportunity to answer him, if he wished, at the beginning of the afternoon, when defending its own colors. Between these two hearings, Roch-Olivier Maistre, president of Arcom, and his advisers were to hear the leaders of TF1. Subject to the same need to apply as its rival and former promised to the merger, TF1 does not face any competition.

Rejuvenated M6 Management Board

At M6, in recent days, appearances could suggest that the context did not change anything “business as usual”. As usual, in fact, on Monday February 13, Nicolas de Tavernost presented the financial results of the group of which he has chaired the management board since 2000. As always, he announced a very enviable operating margin, at 24.6% (compared to 23 .5% in 2021 and 19.5% in 2019, but with net income down significantly to almost 166 million, compared to 280.8 million in 2021).

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As usual again, an interview in the press came to crown on paper the exception M6, the most profitable French general-interest channel. The arrival on the Supervisory Board of the boss of the shipowner CMA CGM, Rodolphe Saadé, holder of 8% of the capital of M6, also sends the signal that there is no concern about the future at M6.

Before Arcom, Xavier Niel had to be the best bidder in terms of investments in heritage creation and independent production, two weak points of M6

As a response to the opposing camp, which suggested that Nicolas de Tavernost, 72, was going to struggle to embody the future of his channel before Arcom, the manager has just rejuvenated the executive board of his group, of which, coincidentally, the mandate expired on Monday. In particular, by bringing out his lifelong accomplice, Thomas Valentin, 67, the DG in charge of antennas and content (who remains his adviser), the president in office until August 22, 2025 – his 75th birthday – pushes a new generation. Among them are the general secretary of the group, Karine Blouët (53 years old), the director of programs, Guillaume Charles (46 years old), and the director of strategy, Henri de Fontaines (48 years old).

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