The decision to award seven digital terrestrial television (DTT) channels to France's Canal+ and Lagardère groups has been provisionally overturned by the country's state council.
The move—which could see the cancellation of the proposed i-MCM music channel, Canal J (for children), Sports+, i-Tele (news channel), Ciné-Cinéma Premier and Planète—follows a complaint from rival French commercial television group TF1 earlier this year.
TF1 complained that Canal+ owned more than the state's five-licence limit since it jointly owns the i-MCM and Canal J channels with Lagardère. Canal+ will now need to apply to the CSA audiovisual authority for a maximum of five new licences.
Canal+'s earlier understanding had been that it did not to hold licences for its joint venture with Lagardère but this view was not shared by the regulator. Canal+ has confirmed it would be prepared to bid for further licences.
The state council said it would seek views on its provisional decision before publishing final conclusions in December.
Free DTT services are due to launch in France in March with around 15 channels.
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