Iliad Group's operator Free is preparing to stop broadcasting BFMTV, its sister channels RMC Découverte and RMC Story, from August 16, announced the Altice group on Wednesday. owner of the channels.
"They informed us that there was no agreement between us, and that from August 16 our channels may not be broadcast anymore, so we have an obligation to inform our viewers," he said. Altice France boss Alain Weill explained during a press conference.
Asked by AFP, Iliad was not yet reachable.
The conflict between the two groups for many months concerns compensation for the broadcast of Altice channels on Free box after the expiry last March 20 of the previous agreement linking the two groups.
However, their negotiations to form a new agreement have failed because of seemingly irreconcilable positions: Altice intends to be paid for the broadcasting of its channels and associated services (such as programs available in replay or catch-up), on the same model as the agreements concluded between Free and the TF1 and M6 groups, while Free considered that it did not receive a valid commercial proposal from Altice.
Altice has already concluded compensation agreements with Bouygues Telecom, Canal + and SFR (an operator belonging to Patrick Drahi's group).
A source close to the record, an amount of 4 million euros is mentioned for the broadcast by Free of the three channels.
"In the discussions we could have, we found a financial agreement," assured Wednesday Mr. Weill, "but it is especially about the legal uncertainties of the contract that we have no agreement today ".
According to Altice, Iliad wants to pay for delineared services (catch-up TV, video on demand, programs in preview in particular) but not the diffusion in linear.
"Separate the two contracts does not make sense, we do not want to separate the two services, the subscriber would not understand it, it would not make sense to offer a service without the other", nevertheless insisted M Weill.
At the beginning of August, the CSA issued a judgment estimating that if Altice is entitled to demand compensation from Iliad for the broadcasting of its channels, the latter could refuse "freely" to broadcast them.
This decision follows that of the High Court of Paris in late July, which considered that "Free does not have the right to broadcast without authorization" the three channels on its networks, and ordered him to "stop this broadcast, under penalty of € 100,000 per day late and per channel from August 27 "- decision of which Iliad has appealed.