French digital TV auction attracts 31 bids

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 11, 2012 9:49 AM
French digital TV auction attracts 31 bids

PARIS (Reuters) - France's auction for six new free digital terrestrial television channels attracted 31 bids, French broadcasting regulator CSA said on Wednesday.

Pay TV channel Canal+ <CNLP.PA>, part of Vivendi <VIV.PA>, was notably absent from the auction, having acquired two digital terrestrial channels, Direct 8 and Direct Star, from industrial-to-media conglomerate Bollore <BOLL.PA> in the autumn.

Among other digital terrestrial operators, TF1 <TFFP.PA> applied for three channels - HD1, Stylia TV and Tendances 24 - as did M6 <MMTP.PA>, which has submitted applications for TV shopping channel Boutique & Co, Hexa and 6Ter.

M6 said in a statement that it was ready to invest around 110 million euros ($141 million) in the next four years to support the launch of its three new channels.

($1 = 0.7826 euros)

(Reporting by Marc Angrand; Writing by Elena Berton; Editing by Greg Mahlich)