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CanalSat to b’cast French pubcasters

CEO sez subs to rise as satcaster adds France 2, 3

PARIS — Bruno Delecour, CEO of France’s digital platform CanalSatellite, announced Friday that the company would broadcast pubcasters France 2 and France 3 as of this week.

Move follows a long legal battle, led by parent company Canal Plus, against broadcasting laws in France that prevented CanalSatellite from airing the public channels.

A new law, which took effect last month, stripped rival digital platform TPS (Television Par Satellite) of exclusive rights to broadcast the two public webs. TPS is 8% owned by the French pubcasters.

Delecour revealed that CanalSatellite’s subscriber count would rise to 1.5 million by October. He also announced a series of new stations to be added to the digital satellite station’s offerings. They include France’s first ever channel for the 2-to-7-year-old audience (in cooperation with the Lagardere group).

CanalSatellite will broadcast next month’s Deauville Film Festival 16 hours a day. CanalSatellite, created in 1996, is owned by Canal Plus (66%) and Lagardere (34%). Delecour said the company has revenues of 4 billion francs ($570 million).

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