Orange battles TF1 over carriage fees

Orange is taking its dispute with TF1 to the French court of commerce, claiming the private broadcaster is misusing its dominant position on the viewers and advertising market.

TF1 is asking millions of euros from the various French distribution platforms including Orange, Free and SFR, who until now distributed the channel without paying the broadcaster.

Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange, has constantly refused to pay for any channel that is available free of charge on all platforms.

In the past, Richard said the two parties have been talking about adding new services, such as re-start of programmes on the Orange set-top boxes, or a network-PVR service, but without any concrete results.

TF1 points out that in Belgium cable operators pay tp carry the channel, as does the new OTT platform Molotov. However, under French media law, TF1 is one of the must-carry channels, so Orange §has to carry the channel.

Interestingly, just this week in Germany a court ruled that public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have to pay distribution platforms, such as cable operators, rather than the other way around.

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