Eurosport France has terminated its distribution on the French pay-TV DTT network on January 21, 2015 following green light by media authority CSA to hand back its DTT slot.
The reason for the move is the change in Eurosport France’s shareholders. The channel is currently owned 80% by French commercial broadcaster TF1 and 20% by Discovery Communications,
majority owner of Eurosport International since June 2014.
The US media group will soon increase its stake in Eurosport France to 51%. The take-over of the controlling interest prompts the channel’s DTT retreat: The shareholding of a non-European company in a TV channel distributed terrestrially in France must not exceed 20%.
In addtion, there might be a business reason from withdrawing from the TNT network; Eurosport was offered as a ‘low pay’ channel, a business model which does not seem to work in France for digital terrestrial, as is testifeied by a number of closures of such channels, including kids channel Canal J, Groupe AB’s AB1, while more recently, TF1’s LCI, Première and Planete+ asked to be moved from pay to free-to-air distribution. In December, TF6 terminated its broadcasts.
At the moment, the French TNT network continues to offer the following pay channels: Paris Premiere, Planete+, LCI (news) and the Canal+ channels, Canal+ Cinema and Canal+ Sport.
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