The Justice considers that Canal+ is not obliged to turn on the TF1 signal again

Posted on September 22, 2022 at 17:15Updated on September 22, 2022 at 6:57 pm

In the conflict between Canal and TF1, since the beginning of September, Canal+ has won one round. In short, the Paris Mercantile Court has effectively dismissed the front page request for Canal+ to resume its signal on TNT Sat, its satellite offer. TF1 immediately appealed.

Following Canal+’s “cut” of TF1 on its various channels (MyCanal, Canal+ but also TNT Sat), TF1 took Vivendi’s subsidiary to court to return the signal to TNT Sat, which in particular allows households not served by DTT to receive television. In addition to being an encrypted channel, Canal+ is also a distributor of channel packages.

The law “does not require it”

The judge considered that, on the one hand, nothing obliged Canal+ to resume this broadcast. The law “offers the possibility” to a satellite service distributor to make DTT channels available to the public, but it does not “impose it”.

On the other hand, the judge considers that TNT Sat cannot be distinguished from Canal+’s global offer in the contract that binds them. In addition, TF1 cannot prove “imminent damage” by figures, according to the car that “Les Echos” was able to read.

TF1 requested a precautionary measure of four months during which Canal would restore its channels on TNT Sat, time to find a global agreement or allow customers of this service to switch to another satellite offer, Fransat (Eutelsat group).

Rural and mountain areas

At the center of the dispute, TNT Sat is a satellite offer offered by Canal+ that allows, in particular, viewers who live in rural or mountain areas, who do not have access to terrestrial television, to have access to the DTT.

TNT Sat presents itself as “the leading solution for satellite reception of free DTT channels” in France, with more than 2 million homes equipped. However, as indicated by Canal+’s lawyer, the exact number of households that actually have this offer is not known, with 2 million eligible households.

TNT Sat was highlighted in the letter from the Minister of Culture at the end of August to Maxime Saada, the head of Canal+, asking him to restore the signal on TNT Sat. This offer was also heart of the conflict in 2018, during the previous black screen of TF1 on Canal+.

A commission from Canal+

This provisional decision is only part of the disputes between TF1 and Canal+ over the renewal of the contract between the two groups that ended in August. This contract is for 13 million euros, according to one of the lawyers.

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Canal+ announced in early September that it was submitting TF1 to the fund before the Nanterre Court. In its complaint, revealed by “Le Parisien”, Canal+ denounces an “abuse of a dominant position” by TF1. It targets in particular the “tied sale” of TF1, which only offers to purchase a bundle of linear and non-linear programs. Canal+ also protests against the “discriminatory practices” of which Gilles Pélisson’s group is allegedly a victim. It mentions the “more favorable distribution conditions for TF1 channels” that Salto would benefit from, the streaming platform launched in 2020 by La Une, France Télévisions and M6 (more advantageous rates, rich content, etc.).

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