France Telecom moves into IPTV

Telco launches sports channel

PARIS — France Telecom has made its first tentative steps into broadcasting with the launch of IPTV service Orange Sports TV.

The channel will feature sports news, broadcast on television via the Internet and direct to Orange mobile 3G network subscribers.

Nike and vidgame supplier Electronic Arts have been signed up as advertisers.

All content is being provided by Groupe Sporever, a French firm specializing in sports-related content, headed by the former director of sports at web France 2.

While Orange has existing agreements for broadcasting major sports events, such as the French Open and the Tour de France, the company will not compete for TV rights for French first and second division soccer matches, which will be available in November.

Orange, the French first league title sponsor, will only re-bid for the mobile rights to League One and Two games, valued at Euros 29 million ($40.9 million).

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