A few days before the World Cup, TF1 and Canal+ reach an agreement

The hatchet is buried: a few days before the World Cup, TF1 and Canal+ announced, on the evening of Friday November 4, that they had signed a “new distribution agreement”. Canal+, a subsidiary of Vivendi, had ceased to broadcast Bouygues group channels on all its distribution channels at the beginning of September, failing to reach a financial agreement. The approach of the World Cup, which will start on November 20, made this divorce untenable. The TF1 group, which owns the TMC channel (on TNT), will broadcast 28 matches for free, including the 16 most beautiful posters of the group stage. The two parties therefore each had an interest in finding a new modus vivendi. This is now done and the new agreement, the details of which have not been made public, will be effective from this Monday, November 7.

For two months, the two groups rejected responsibility for a conflict that took them to court. Canal + had assured that TF1 was too greedy in the renegotiation of the contract, concluded at the end of 2018 after a similar conflict, while the chain of the Bouygues group had affirmed that it was its rival who had not wished to find an agreement.

In court, the TF1 group had challenged Canal+’s position and specifically demanded the resumption of broadcasting of its five free channels on TNT Sat – Canal+’s satellite offer -, satellite being the only way for some households to receive television in isolated areas not served by DTT (mainly in the mountains).

Justice had given reason to Canal +

At first instance and on appeal, the courts had rejected TF1’s request. The judges considered that the law did not require Canal to distribute the TF1 signal on TNT Sat, as the media regulator, Arcom, had also recognized.

The cessation of broadcasting of its channels by Canal+ was detrimental to the audiences of the TF1 group. In October, all of its five channels saw its audience share fall to 25.6%, against 27.7% a year earlier, according to Médiamétrie. This decline in audience, associated with the imminent arrival of the World Cup, has contributed to the acceleration of negotiations.


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