Thomson has reached a strategic agreement with FRANCE 24, the global 24-hour satellite TV news channel, in a transaction valued at over Euro 30 million over three years, writes Fergal Ringrose.
FRANCE 24 will broadcast news in several languages on two different channels, to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the East coast of the United States. Equally owned by the TF1 and France T_l_visions Groups, FRANCE 24 will launch its global news coverage with a dedicated staff of over 170 bilingual broadcast journalists in Paris, as well as correspondents reporting from bureaus around the world. The editorial team will rely upon notable French news sources such as AFP, RFI, TV5 Monde, and other foreign channels.
Thomson will design and build broadcast and technology infrastructure ahead of the network's December 2006 launch, and provide a range of operational, maintenance, and training support services. The technologies and services will be delivered by units across Thomson, including Grass Valley Systems and Technicolor Network Services-VCF Th_matiques, part of its Services division.
Under the contract, Thomson's Grass Valley business will design and install a digital studio and master control room, which will be integrated into FRANCE 24's network architecture and technology infrastructure. Thomson's Technicolor Network Services unit, through its previously-acquired, Paris-based VCF Thematiques business, will deliver a range of services for the operation and maintenance of the technical infrastructure and will deploy more than 100 technical staff at FRANCE 24's site.