TF1 Group CEO wins Emmy directorate award

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CANNES -- Patrick Le Lay, chairman and CEO of France's TF1 Group, will receive the International Emmy Directorate Award at a ceremony in New York Nov. 19th.

Bruce L. Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences made the announcement at MIP-TV on Monday, calling Lay "the driving force behind Europe's leading network for the last 20 years."

TF1's terrestrial channel has an average market share of 35%, making it France's leading network. Under Lay's management, the TF1 group has expanded to include a wide palate of niche and specialty channels, including Eurosport, all news channel La Chaine Info and documentary station Odyssee. The group also operates satellite broadcasting service TPS and is a major driver behind the expansion of high definition television in France.

"Under Partrick Le Lay's watch, TF1 has become a powerful and diversified media company," Paisner said. "He has guided the growth of the TF1 brand from a traditional commercial television broadcaster to a multi-media organization that is a pioneer in many of the emerging new digital platforms. We are pleased to recognize his accomplishments with our 2007 Directorate Award."

Previous winners of the International Emmy Directorate Award include Tele-Muenchen Group head Herbert Kloiber and former BBC director general Greg Dyke. Two networks have also won the award: U.K. commercial channel ITV and Central European Media Enterprises (CME), together with its founder Ronald S. Lauder.

"I am greatly honored to be awarded by such a prestigious and world renowned organization," Patrick Le Lay said. "This award has special significance for me since it will be presented in front of an international audience in the United States, the country that pioneered entertainment TV. "

In a separate announcement, the International Academy said its third International Academy Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil would focus attention on South America's television industry. Brazilian media group TV Globo will organize and host the event, to be held May 6-9, 2008.

The first International Academy Day was held in Mexico City in 2005. Last year the event moved to Beijing, China.
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