Study: It's a DTT future in France

Oddo says main terrestrial channels will lose viewers

PARIS -- French audiences will be watching almost commercial-free digital terrestrial television in 2012, according to a new study from Gallic media research firm Oddo Securities.

According to Oddo, the future doesn't look bright for the country's main terrestrial channels, which will lose viewers to the increasingly popular DTT platform, which Oddo predicts will jump from a 24.5% market share in September 2008 to a more than 40% share in 2012.

TF1 will remain the ratings leader with a 24.2% market share, an 11% drop from the private network's current share, according to Oddo.

Public TV group France Televisions will see a 31% plummet in market share to 24.6%, while private network M6 will struggle, dropping 19% to a 9.3% share.

Pay TV group Canal Plus will drop 20% to a tiny 2.4% share, according to Oddo's calculations.

Oddo also predicts a 2.3% downward slide for advertising in 2009 and another 1.8% in 2012.

"The ban on advertising on the public channels and the alleviation of advertising constraints will negatively impact the market," the study said.

Oddo predicts that the removal of ads on the public networks will cause a transfer of ad funds to the private networks of up to 185 million euros ($258.85 million) in 2009 and 146 million euros ($204.3 million) in 2012.