Canal + is not obliged to restore the broadcasting of TF1 by satellite, says the commercial court

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According to a commercial court order, Canal+ is not obliged to broadcast TF1 channels again on its TNT Sat satellite offer. The conflict between the two channels erupted when Canal+ stopped broadcasting the TF1 channels at the beginning of September, for lack of a financial agreement for the renewal of their contract.

Canal+ is not obliged to rebroadcast TF1 channels on its TNT Sat satellite offer, which allows households not served by terrestrial DTT to receive television, according to an order from the Paris Commercial Court. This urgent procedure (referred to) is only part of the conflict between the two groups.

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This broke out when Canal+ stopped broadcasting the TF1 channels at the beginning of September, for lack of a financial agreement for the renewal of their contract. In its order, the Paris Commercial Court dismissed the channels of the TF1 group “of their request for an injunction to restore (their) broadcast on TNT Sat”. The court found that stopping the broadcast of the five free channels TF1, TMC, TFX, TF1 Séries Films and LCI on TNT Sat did not cause either “unlawful disturbance” or “imminent damage”, two conditions justifying that a summary end a situation. The court ruled that Canal+’s TNT Sat offer was an inseparable part of the overall contract on which the two groups oppose each other, and that TF1 could not therefore invoke a “sudden termination of commercial relations” relating solely to this point- the. In addition, the court recalled that the law does not require Canal+ to distribute the TF1 signal on TNT Sat, as the media regulator, Arcom, had pointed out at the start of the conflict.

Both groups blame each other for the conflict

For its part, the TF1 group reacted to the court’s decision and said it regretted “the decision of the judge in chambers of the Paris Commercial Court who did not see the urgency of preserving the interests of viewers who use the TNTSat service so that they are not – as underlined by the President of the ARCOM recently – taken hostage in a commercial dispute that does not concern this service”. The TF1 group has decided to bring the case before the Paris Court of Appeal.

TF1 requested an interim measure of four months during which Canal would restore its channels on TNT Sat, the time to find a global agreement or to allow customers of this service to switch to another satellite offer, Fransat (Eutelsat group). Satellite is the only way for some households to receive television in isolated areas not served by DTT (mainly in the mountains).

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Both groups blame each other for the conflict. Canal+ assures that TF1 was too greedy in the renegotiation of the contract, concluded at the end of 2018 after a similar conflict. TF1 affirms that it is its rival who did not wish to find an agreement and ensures that its hearings suffer from it. The commercial court also condemned the six legal entities of the TF1 group which had gone to court to each pay Canal the sum of 3,000 euros in legal costs. In a separate proceeding, Canal brought TF1 before the Nanterre Commercial Court.