TF1’s potential acquisition of production and sales group Newen has sparked a furious reaction from France Télévisions.
The French pubcaster has suspended all of its development work with Newen after market-leading commercial broadcaster TF1 released a statement that revealed it could take a majority stake in the Paris-based indie firm.
Newen makes shows such as France 3 soap opera Plus Belle la Vie and France 2 series Nina.
A strongly-worded statement reacting to the negotiations claimed it was responsible for more than two-thirds of Newen’s revenues, and that a deal raised alarming wider issues for its production arrangements with indies.
“We reject the idea that France Télévisions’ investments, principally financed by citizens’ contribution through the licence fee, can today be the object of this type of commercial negotiation,” the statement read.
“It is the ideas, know-how and expertise developed in partnership with the public service that would constitute the essential part of this operation between our principal supplier and one of our principal competitors.”
Therefore, France Télévisions is suspending all developments and projects with Newen as of today, and added it “reserves all rights to take further action… This raises, in a crucial and urgent way, the question of a new arrangement between France Télévisions and the producers.”
Neither TF1 or Newen had responded to requests for comment at press time.