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TELEVISION AND DTT

Regulating competition in the wholesale market for terrestrial TV broadcasting: In its “scoreboard and outlook” Arcep recommends not renewing its regulation 

Paris, 20 June 2018

Today, Arcep is publishing its “scoreboard and outlook” document for public consultation, which traditionally marks the start of a new round of market analysis. This document provides an assessment of the state of competition in the wholesale market for terrestrial broadcasting services, under the current regulatory framework, and examines past and likely future developments in the technical arrangements for broadcasting television content. In light of these analyses, Arcep does not plan on continuing to regulate this market for a fifth round.

Digital terrestrial television’s (DTT) relative share of TV viewing methods continues to decrease steadily, as alternative TV broadcasting methods over broadband and superfast broadband networks gain in popularity

Distribution over ADSL and fibre networks has gradually come to join longstanding – terrestrial (DTT), satellite and cable – broadcasting systems. Depending on whether or not the video stream is distributed by an Internet service provider (ISP), these Internet-based systems are referred to as IPTV or over-the-top (OTT) broadcasting.

In France, IPTV broadcasting was widely adopted thanks to ISPs’ triple play bundles, which included TV services. Broadcasting authority CSA’s publications reveal that IPTV overtook DTT in Q1 2017 in terms of popularity (see graph below). DTT’s steady replacement is expected to continue as more and more households become eligible to subscribe to broadband and superfast broadband plans.



TV reception methods
Household penetration rate
DTT     IPTV


Meanwhile, content providers are gaining access to a growing number of alternative outlets to DTT as these broadband and superfast broadband networks are deployed. In addition to traditional linear TV, these new platforms offer the advantage of promoting increasingly popular innovative services, and particularly on-demand viewing and catch-up TV services, not only on the television but more and more on smartphones and tablets as well.

Given this situation where a new competition dynamic is emerging between the different broadcasting systems, Arcep has concluded that it is no longer relevant to continue to regulate only DTT competition. Despite which, DTT remains a significant television access system. This analysis in no way predicts its future, which falls outside Arcep’s competence.

Interested parties are invited to submit their contributions to Arcep by 10 September 2018.

Once this consultation has concluded, Arcep will produce a summary and publish a draft decision for public consultation, in addition to submitting it to CSA and the French Competition authority for their opinion. It will then adopt the final decision after this second round of consultations, and after having notified it to the European Commission.



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