PARIS — Pay TV giant Canal Plus will snub the ceremony for Les Sept d’Or, the French equivalent of the Emmy Awards, for the first time since the awards began in 1985.
Canal Plus said it was not happy with the way prizes were determined.
“Normally the vote is by professionals in the business, but Les Sept d’Or is getting further and further away from that practice, and lets viewers do more and more of the voting,” a spokeswoman for the company told Daily Variety.
Canal Plus says it reaches only about 20% of French households and therefore is put at a disadvantage over free TV, which has a larger audience. Nine of the 16 awards this year will be decided by the viewing public.
“We invited the public to vote in 1997 after we had had complaints from free TV stations like TF1 that the awards committee of professionals was too ‘old school,'” Patrick Mahe, president of Les Sept d’Or, told Daily Variety.
Canal Plus accused Les Sept d’Or of passing over two of its producers, Jean-Jacques Amsellem and Jean-Paul Jaud, who were in charge of airing the 1998 Soccer World Cup in the category of live broadcasts.
Mahe said his organization “is disappointed with the Canal Plus decision, but it doesn’t surprise us.”
The awards ceremony will be broadcast live on French pubcaster France 3 on Oct. 21.