Businessman Xavier Niel takes a step closer to television

Should M6 be worried about its future? Like TF1, the channel run by Nicolas de Tavernost had until midday on January 16 to ask Arcom (ex-CSA) to “have the procedures for electronic submission of the application file” renewal of the frequency it occupies on DTT. In other words, the first two private channels had until that date to claim the e-mail address where to send, by January 23 at the latest, a complete file with a view to continuing their activity on channels 1 and 6 beyond. May 5, the date of the end of their current authorisation. But a third man invited himself into the process: the founder of Free, Xavier Niel (also an individual shareholder of the World), would also have expressed his wish to have the famous link.

This initiative, which his entourage refuses to confirm, however, is only a half-surprise. Twice already, the boss of NJJ (the personal holding company of the boss of Iliad) has tried in vain to get his hands on M6. For the first time, TF1 had been chosen by Bertelsmann (owner of 48.3% of the company which owns the M6 ​​group, RTL Group) to merge.

When, in mid-September, the two bride and groom gave up on getting married and M6 was quickly put back on sale, Xavier Niel tried his luck again. The seller had finally given up on separating from his chain. But the businessman did not give up, and on November 30, the vice-president of Iliad, Maxime Lombardini, and the lawyer François Sureau went to ask Arcom to loosen the timetable in order to to have time to tie up an alternative channel project to that of M6. What the Authority, which set the date for submitting the files to January 23 and not mid-February as the two men hoped, did not seem to take into account.

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Fiction, documentaries and information

Sketched out in broad strokes that day, Xavier Niel’s project should prove to be the best bidder in terms of fiction – M6 produces few first-party television films, for example –, documentaries or even information that the chain. In recent weeks, moreover, representatives of the businessman have met with players in the sector, unions and professional organizations, in order to assert their ambitions.

In an interview at Figaro mid-December, Nicolas de Tavernost conveniently announced that he wanted ” to reinforce “ chain investments “in programs and production”and “study the possibility of a daily soap opera” (in 2008, a first attempt of this type, No secrets between uslasted only a few weeks).

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