Market Watch

France Télévisions Upgrades Online Catch-Up

July 12, 2010

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France Télévisions' new portal offers catch-up from across the broadcaster's suite of channels. The broadcaster said that about 80 per cent of the content aired will be accessible for catch-up online (the unavailable remainder will mostly consist of feature films, foreign series and sport events).

The launch of the new service follows the expiry of a deal with Orange, which granted the operator exclusive catch-up rights to premium France Télévisions content in the 30 day post-broadcast window (Orange offered France Télévisions content behind the pay-wall of its 24/24 service). France Télévisions previously made the content not included in the Orange deal available for catch-up on its dedicated channel websites, while content covered by the Orange deal was offered on PPV basis via the 'France TVOD' portal. The broadcaster is in talks with pay TV operators for non-exclusive catch-up agreements.

The service launch follows two legal developments:

  • From the beginning of 2009 restrictions were placed on advertising on France Télévisions channels (no ads were permitted after 8 pm); by contrast, no restrictions were imposed on the online services.
  • The decree published in June 2009 introduced the requirement for France Télévisions to make all of the programming it produces available online for free for a minimum of seven days after the broadcast (this directive implementation deadline was set at 30 November 2011).

Despite the patchy catch-up proposition, Screen Digest estimates that France Télévisions occupied the second place among the French broadcasters in terms of video views in 2009. With all of France Télévisions content now available via the free to view aggregated catch-up service, the broadcaster is likely to strengthen its online presence. The  8 pm ban means that the only way to advertise on France Télévisions' prime-time content is online, which should help the broadcaster to fetch a CPM premium. However, at launch does not appear to carry much advertising. Screen Digest understands that France Télévisions is likely to increase the available online inventory, but until the broadcaster manages to amass online ad sales expertise, which the commercial channels have been accumulating for several years (M6 launched catch-up portals in early 2008; TF1 consolidated online catch-up in April 2009), the traffic increase may not translate into revenue.

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