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Numericable-SFR takes on Canal+ with competition watchdog » Digital TV Europe

Numericable-SFR has lodged a complaint against Canal+ with France’s competition regulator, the Autorité de la Concurrence, over the pay TV group’s distribution practices, according to French financial daily Les Echos.

facade_campus_sfr_maxime_dufour__photographies_3According to Les Echos , citing unnamed sources, the Altice-owned cable and telecom group has taken issue with Canal+’s agreements with distributors such as Orange and Free whereby the pay TV group maintains and direct relationship with the end customer and the telecom operators receive a commission.

Numericable-SFR has adopted a strategy of seeking exclusive content deals, such as its recent acquisition of English Premier League football , and is less willing than other French telcos to accept the role of passive redistributor of content.

Canal+ currently provides its Canalsat offering to SFR’s ADSL customers, while Numericable cable customers do not have access to the same offering. Numericable has lost its ability to offer a number of channels, such as Eurosport, independently as Canal+ secured exclusive rights to distribute these channels.

Numericable-SFR may also be concerned about the prospect of a rapprochement between Canal+ owner Vivendi and Al Jazeera-owned BeIN Sports whereby Canal+ could secure exclusive carriage of the BeIN Sports channels.

The combined Numericable SFR group is also in the process of trying to migrate SFR’s ADSL-based customers to Numericable’s high-speed cable network.