September 5, 2019 / 9:09 AM / 10 days ago

Orange stops broadcasting Altice's TV channels via its boxes

PARIS (Reuters) - Orange, France’s biggest telecoms operator, stopped broadcasting free of charge TV channels controlled by rival Altice Europe in France on Thursday morning as a dispute on fees intensified, a spokesman said.

Orange is the second telecoms operator to cut the signal of BFM TV, RMC Découverte and RMC Story from its set-top boxes after Iliad, as it refuses to pay Altice for the right to air them.

The conflict arose when Altice, the parent company of telecoms rival SFR, asked its peers to pay a fee to have the right to broadcast its TV channels.

Orange’s CEO Stephane Richard said in late August he would refuse to pay such fees. Orange has 12 million subscribers to its bundled telephone, TV and internet offers in France.

Altice Europe is confident Orange will very soon resume distributing its channels, a spokesman for the group said.

Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Inti Landauro; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain

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