Canal Plus has its i on news

All-news web to go head to head with LCI

PARIS — French pay TV group Canal Plus has launched i television, its long-awaited all-news cable and satellite web.

The news channel, which will be carried on Canal Plus’ digital platform Canal Satellite and the pay group’s cable service NC Numericable, is set to go head to head with TF1’s existing all-news web LCI.

TF1 and Canal Plus are expected to discuss whether i television will be carried on the Television Par Satellite (TPS) digital platform, in which TF1 has a 25% stake. LCI is currently on TPS and Canal Satellite.

With a budget of around 160 million francs ($26 million), i television has only about half the funds available to LCI, and it’s entering a news market filled with international heavyweights such as CNN and BBC World.

Christian Dutoit, head of i television and former prexy of LCI, said the new web will focus on in-depth coverage of local news.

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