Paris (AFP)

The CEO of the operator Orange Stéphane Richard said Thursday, on France 2, it was "conceivable" to come to also cut the signal of the channels of the group Altice, BFMTV, RMC Discovery and RMC Story, if lack of future agreement on remuneration.

"We do not want to get to the same point but it is conceivable to also cut the signal if there is no agreement," Richard confirmed, recalling however that the two groups were not yet there since the end of the agreement between Altice and Orange, initially planned for September, has been postponed.

"We have a position aligned with that of Free, we consider that there is a balance between the channel publishers and the operators we are: by transporting the channels for free we assured them an audience, without asking for remuneration in return" , detailed the CEO of the incumbent operator.

While acknowledging that a broadcasting agreement has been signed with the TF1 and M6 groups, Stéphane Richard also recalled that this agreement concerns "associated services".

"I do not want to prejudge the upcoming negotiations that we will have with Altice but for now, (these services associated, Ed) there is none," said Richard.

"The question is not the amount of the check, we will pay if there is an additional service provided to the consumer, not otherwise," he insisted.

The Altice Group, the parent company of BFMTV, RMC Découverte and RMC Story, as well as the operator SFR, and its competitor Iliad, the parent company of Free, have not managed to reach agreement on the broadcasting of the three chains of Altice via the Freebox, leading since Monday the cut of their diffusion via the ADSL and the fiber.

Channels, however, remain accessible to Free subscribers via TNT, which requires the box to be connected to the television antenna.

Altice intends to be compensated for the broadcasting of its channels and associated services (such as programs available in replay or catch-up), on the same model as the agreements concluded between Free and the TF1 and M6 groups, while Free agrees to pay for the associated services but not for real-time channel broadcasting.

Altice has already concluded compensation agreements with Bouygues Telecom, Canal + or SFR and would like to reach an agreement with Free before entering into negotiations with Orange.

© 2019 AFP