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AB challenges Canal Plus dominance

Channel operator appeals to anti-trust body

AB Groupe has appealed to France’s Competition Council to intervene in a programming dispute with Canal Plus, the country’s biggest pay TV operator.

AB Groupe, operator of 20 themed channels, has accused Canal Plus of exploiting its dominant market position to restrict AB programming on satellite and Internet.

In June, a civil court ruled that Canal Plus’ satellite pay TV platform CanalSat must continue carrying AB’s travel channel Escale. Canal Plus had intended to suspend broadcasting at the end of July.

Last week, AB chairman Claude Berda petitioned France’s broadcasting regulatory authority, the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel, to allow AB1, AB’s young adult-oriented channel, to be broadcast on TNT, the national digital terrestrial service.

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