Int'l Emmys set to honor TF1's Le Lay


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

Bruce Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, made the announcement Monday at MIPTV, calling Le Lay "the driving force behind Europe's leading network for the past 20 years."

TF1's terrestrial channel has an average market share of 35%, tops in France. Under Le Lay, 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 HDTV in France.

"Under Patrick 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 multimedia organization that is a pioneer in many of the emerging new digital platforms."

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

"This award has special significance for me since it will be presented in front of an international audience in the U.S., the country that pioneered entertainment TV," Le Lay said.

In a separate announcement, the International Academy said its third International Academy Day, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will focus 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.