TF1 - M6, the aborted marriage - Companies

TF1 – M6, the aborted marriage – Companies

In France, we only talk about the failed marriage between TF1 and M6. In Belgium, we also observe this with great interest.

The “that” is the failed, aborted marriage between TF1 and M6. Not that these two major television channels no longer wanted to merge, but because the competition authority in France banned them from this marriage. I should be more nuanced, she put so many obstacles in the way that this marriage was impossible.

On paper, this merger made sense. TF1 and M6 had to join forces to have a sufficient size to fight against American streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney, Amazon Prime or even against Google and Meta which capture a good part of digital advertising. But now, the competition authority in France said NO. Notably because this authority questioned advertisers and they were afraid to see TV spot prices explode, because the marriage between TF1 and M6 would have allowed the two channels to have 70% of the French advertising market.

Said like that, we say that the competition authority was right. Yes, except that the competition authority, and this is the reproach made to it, looked in the rear view mirror and not the future. However, the future shows that television is losing market share every year. What is true today will therefore no longer be so tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. It’s true that today when a car brand wants to launch a new model, it does so on classic television, because there’s still Prime Time. But this Prime Time won’t last forever with all the competition from other streaming platforms. Let’s not forget, for example, that Netflix will soon allow subscribers to choose the advertising option if they want to keep a lower monthly price than those who want to watch their favorite movie or series without advertising.

In fact, what experts criticize the competition authority for is looking at the advertising market as it is today instead of looking ahead 5 or 10 years. Take the case of Instagram and WhatsApp. These are two world famous applications. When they were bought by Facebook, the competition authorities said nothing on the pretext that at the time these two apps were not making money. But what a mistake, today Instagram makes half of the turnover of Meta, the new name of Facebook. There’s an old adage that goes, “It’s wrong to be right too soon”. In the meantime, TF1 and M6 find themselves today with single status. M6 has seen its price drop by 25% since May 2021, which makes it even more desirable for a potential buyer, because its German shareholder wants to sell it no matter what. For their part, the Americans Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Walt Disney must smile at European naivety. For them, the forbidden marriage between TF1 and M6 is an authorization given to the fox to enter the henhouse.

The “that” is the failed, aborted marriage between TF1 and M6. Not that these two major television channels no longer wanted to merge, but because the competition authority in France banned them from this marriage. I should be more nuanced, she put so many spokes in the wheels that this marriage was impossible. On paper, this rapprochement made sense. TF1 and M6 had to join forces to have a sufficient size to fight against American streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney, Amazon Prime or even against Google and Meta which capture a good part of digital advertising. But now, the competition authority in France said NO. In particular because this authority questioned advertisers and they were afraid to see TV spot prices explode, because the marriage between TF1 and M6 would have allowed the two channels to have 70% of the French advertising market. , we say that the competition authority was right. Yes, except that the competition authority, and this is the reproach made to it, looked in the rear view mirror and not the future. However, the future shows that television is losing market share every year. What is true today will therefore no longer be so tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. It’s true that today when a car brand wants to launch a new model, it does so on classic television, because there’s still Prime Time. But this Prime Time won’t last forever with all the competition from other streaming platforms. Let’s not forget, for example, that Netflix will soon allow subscribers to choose the advertising option if they want to keep a lower monthly price than those who want to watch their favorite movie or series without advertising. What experts criticize the competition authority for is looking at the advertising market as it is today instead of looking ahead 5 or 10 years. Take the case of Instagram and WhatsApp. These are two world famous applications. When they were bought by Facebook, the competition authorities said nothing on the pretext that at the time these two apps were not making money. But what a mistake, today Instagram makes half of the turnover of Meta, the new name of Facebook. There’s an old adage that goes, “It’s wrong to be right too soon”. In the meantime, TF1 and M6 find themselves today with single status. M6 has seen its price drop by 25% since May 2021, which makes it even more desirable for a potential buyer, because its German shareholder wants to sell it no matter what. For their part, the Americans Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Walt Disney must smile at European naivety. For them, the forbidden marriage between TF1 and M6 is an authorization given to the fox to enter the henhouse.

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