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LCI made available free-to-air

French media authority CSA has ruled confirmed that news channel LCI can broadcast free-to-air on the nation’s DTT network, known locally as TNT

French media authority CSA has ruled confirmed that news channel LCI can broadcast free-to-air on the nation’s DTT network, known locally as TNT.

It was also ruled that two other channels, Paris Première and Planète must stay encrypted.

The CSA reached its decision after holding public hearings on the matter earlier this month. The broadcasters were seeking to end encryption as the low-pay model does not work for digital terrestrial distribution.

The French DTT network is mainly free-to-air and the few premium channels are finding it hard to attract enough subscribers. During the past few years, a number of encrypted channels have stop broadcasting on the TNT network and it is reported that Paris Première and Planète+ will also terminate terrestrial distribution.

Canal+ issued a statement, saying, “This decision severely penalises Planète+, the oldest and most recognised of the documentary channels. Founded 29 years ago, Paris Première is channel that has, from the outset, offering an ambitious editorial alternative to the public.

“The approval of Paris Première becoming a free DTT channel would have contributed to the diversity of the French media landscape and strengthen the offer to viewers. The future of the channel is now in jeopardy, as indicated several times in the files submitted to the CSA and at hearings.”

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