“viewers are not meant to be hostages”

Roch-Olivier Maistre, the president of Arcom wishes to be able to prevent in the future a possible cut of the chains.

Roch-Olivier Maistre wants to protect viewers. Before the Cultural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, where he was heard late Tuesday afternoon, the president of Arcom (ex-CSA) returned to the conflict which still opposes TF1 and Canal +. “I say it to you, viewers are not meant to be hostages to commercial disputes between publishers and distributors. The dispute between TF1 and Canal is a purely commercial dispute over an amount of remuneration, it is not normal for viewers to be held hostage“. Roch-Olivier Maistre believes that we should seriously “consider supplementing the law“. “This type of litigation, we have already experienced them in the past, we are experiencing one today and we may still experience others tomorrow since there are other negotiations to come.“, he pleaded in front of the deputies.

Since the beginning of September, Canal+ no longer distributes any of the TF1 group’s channels, due to a financial dispute over their distribution agreement. TF1 demanded in court that Canal+ restore its channels on the TNT Sat satellite offer, which allows households not served by terrestrial DTT to receive TV. The Paris Commercial Court is due to render its decision on September 22. In the meantime, part of the public finds itself in front of a black screen.

So that viewers are not penalized in the future, the regulator would like to be able to implement precautionary measures, which would in particular prevent the signal from being cut off. “Should we move towards a porting obligation for the satellite broadcasters of hertzian channels? I think the question is now asked“, insisted the president of Arcom, specifying to be always in mediation between the two actors. “I hope that we will be able to get out of this dispute quickly.“.

Fusion TF1-M6

Regarding the aborted merger project between TF1 and M6, Roch-Olivier Maistre declared that it was “of a major project. It is normal for actors to try to adapt to changes in the audiovisual landscape. Failure to do so on the part of those responsible for these companies would be irresponsible. At the same time, this project raised many questions“.

The regulator said it was well aware of the earthquake caused by the abandonment of the merger project between TF1 and M6, observing that it was creating “an area of ​​uncertainty within the audiovisual landscape“. Roch-Olivier Maistre indicated that Arcom would be “very attentive to the development of each of these companies, which plays a very important role in the overall balance of the audiovisual landscape. Again, let’s not underestimate the changes that are afoot. They have very serious consequences. We need to support these companies, whether public or private, to cope with its transformations and continue to fulfill their role, particularly in terms of cultural exception.“. The president of Arcom took advantage of this hearing before parliamentarians to announce that he will make public on Wednesday his opinion on the proposed merger between TF1 and M6, which had been submitted this summer to the Competition Authority.

SEE ALSO – Canal+ announces “to give up” the broadcasting of the channels of the TF1 group


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