Marriage will not happen at any cost

The marriage of the TF1-M6 will not be at any cost: the head of the leading French audio-visual group reiterated on Thursday his desire to marry his rival, but only if the concessions requested by the competition body were not so important.

“Maybe my dream ends there”

The two groups revealed on Tuesday that the first report – not public – from the institution responsible for balancing competition in France said it was unfavorable to their union.

Thus, the “dream we shared” of a French audiovisual champion “is not necessarily being shared at this point by analyzing the (instruction) services of the competition authority,” TF1 CEO Gilles Bellison summed up in the sidelines of the group’s results publication.

He added, “Before the dream turns into a nightmare, there must be a moment of reflection, of awakening, and I believe my dream will end there.”

If the “remedies” required by the report in the face of “identified critical competition problems”, particularly in television advertising, were “put into place”, the project would lose “all its relevance”, and “the parties would not hesitate to stop ‘ Jill Belison insisted.

75% of advertising revenue

Between them, the TF1, owned by Bouygues, and the M6 ​​(for sale by German Bertelsmann, shareholder in RTL Group) account for about 75% of French advertising sales.

Both groups are asking the authority to consider this market share taking into account competition from digital platforms, “which are increasingly similar to the TV model” according to Jill Bilson, as evidenced by the arrival of the next commercial on Netflix.

They will be able to repeat their arguments during the hearings on September 5 and 6 before the competition authority, which will decide in October and it is not required to follow the opinion of the investigative services.

If necessary, the intervention of the Minister of Economy is possible to “override” the opinion of the authority, “for reasons of public interest,” as Bruno Le Maire stated in March before the Senate. Thus, in 2018, the Minister used his “power to invoke”, during Cofigeo’s acquisition of William Saurin, in order to “maintain employment”.

Earnings increased at TF1

Meanwhile, the CEO of TF1 is pleased with the “satisfactory” results of the group, which reported a profit of 126.5 million euros in the first half, an increase of 16.7% over one year, against a turnover of close to 1.2 billion euros (+5.2%).

Include approximately €7 million in exceptional fees related to the integration project.

Advertising revenue rose moderately (+1.6%) to €815.5 million, a slight dip observed in the second quarter – without the euro men’s football that benefited the group last year – offset by the first “good dynamism”, according to TF1.

Despite the decline in audiences, TF1 remains “largely in the lead in terms of its commercial goals” as women under 50 (33.5% of PDAs), says Jill Bellison, noting the show’s massive success. HPI.

The group sold its digital variations

Inflation and conflict in Ukraine did not “significantly affect the results of the group” betting on the World Cup in Qatar in the second half.

Its affiliate Newen Studios will also bring two “significant” series to Canal+ (Marie Antoinette) and Apple TV + (Contactthe platform’s first original French-English production, with Vincent Cassel and Eva Green).

TF1 has also settled its digital diversification operations in recent weeks, with sales of its Unify division (Marmiton, Doctissimo, Aufeminin, etc.) – which will be sold to Reworld Media in the second half – and international influencer marketing agency Ykone, worth at least 124 million euros, according to the press release. TF1 has also sold its digital advertising subsidiary Gamned! for nearly 50 million euros, according to an offer made by the group.

For its part, the M6 ​​Group presented mixed results on Tuesday, as the trading value increased by 3% compared to the first half of 2021, to reach 664 million euros, but its net profit fell by 22.4%, to 92.5 million euros.

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