Two French broadcasters have announced plans to merge into a $4.1 billion media company that would take over almost 70% of France’s broadcast advertising market.
If the merger between TF1 and M6 is approved — a process which could last as long as 18 months — it would form the largest broadcasting group in the country’s history, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.
The deal is comparable to the planned Univision-Televisa merger that’s valued at $4.8 billion.
The consolidation is “an absolute necessity if the French audience and the industry as a whole are to continue to play a predominant role in the face of exacerbated international competition,” said M6 boss Nicolas de Tavernost.
The companies are no stranger to each other, and their sports connection runs deep.
- TF1 and M6 are splitting broadcasts for the upcoming UEFA Euro tournament, repeating the co-operation of the 2016 tournament.
- Both have domestic broadcast partnerships for France’s UEFA European Championship.
- The pair’s partnerships also include the FIFA World Cup qualifiers and UEFA Nations League. TF1 has free-to-air rights for 28 matches in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
TF1 announced a four-year partnership with Spanish broadcasting group Mediapro last year, forming a new soccer channel airing top Ligue 1 matches. It also split the $15.8 million media rights for the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championship with French network Canal+.