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Gaul adds more digital nets

CSA selects four pay, four free-to-air webs

PARIS — France’s audiovisual watchdog announced eight more digital terrestrial TV channels Monday, with most slots going to Canal Plus.

The Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA) selected four pay channels and four free-to-air webs out of 35 proposals.

The free-to-air webs are BFM, an economic info net proposed by Nextradio, the owner of radio stations BFM and RMC Info; Gulliver, a children’s channel offered jointly by media group Lagardere and pubcaster France 2; IMCM, a music net backed by Lagardere; and Canal Plus’ info web I-Tele.

The pay DTT channels are Lagardere’s kid-themes Canal J, Canal Plus docu web Planete, Canal Plus Cinema and Canal Plus Sport.

News is a relief for Canal Plus, which had one channel out of the 14 launched March 31. The announcement is also a win for Lagardere, which had been excluded. It’s a blow to terrestrial webs M6 and TF1, which hoped to secure more slots in this second round. DTT is available in 35% of households, with the CSA predicting that will rise to 50% by September.

— Liza Klaussmann