M6 demands €100m compensation for loss of bonus channel

French commercial broadcaster M6 is planning to make a claim for €100 million from the French state in compensation for the loss of the so-called bonus digital-terrestrial channel promised to it at the time of the country’s digital switchover, according to a report in financial daily Les Echos.

According to the paper, M6 will send a letter to the new French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, in the next few days to claim compensation and the re-imbursement of additional costs incurred since the decision was take to cancel the bonus channels.

M6, along with TF1 and Canal+, were in 2007 promised a bonus channel to compensate for the costs of digital switchover. However, the plan to allocate the channels was cancelled by the previous government last year after opposition from the EC.

Despite the subsequent allocation of one of six new DTT frequencies to M6 by media regulator the CSA for the launch of channel 6ter later this year, M6 reportedly believes it is still entitled to the original bonus channel because the matter was never discussed properly by the French parliament.

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