Xavier Niel wants to replace M6 with his own channel
On May 5, TF1 and M6’s DTT broadcast authorizations will end. Arcom is therefore organizing an auction for the purchase of these frequencies, for which the two channels are of course candidates. But a third troublemaker could well thwart their plans. Xavier Niel has indeed joined the candidacies of the two groups, with the ambition of replacing M6.
For the first time since 1987, the year when TF1 became private and when M6 landed on our television screens, the two French channels will have to defend their place on TNT. Indeed, on May 15, their respective broadcast authorizations will expire. In this context, Arcom has launched a call for candidates to take over these frequencies left allegedly vacant.
Allegedly, because TF1 and M6 have obviously submitted their application. The outcome seems already known to all: the two groups will be able to continue their business quietly, each on their own channels. But things might not go as planned. Indeed, as Arcom announced in a press release, Xavier Niel sees this as a new opportunity to bite into his share of the television cake.
Xavier Niel candidate for the acquisition of M6 frequencies
Indeed, the French billionaire has also submitted his application to take over the frequencies, on behalf of a company called SIX, which leaves little room for doubt concerning the latter’s ambition to replace M6. For the time being, however, nothing is decided yet: the hearings with the telecoms policeman will take place on February 15th. Still difficult to say if the CEO really has a chance to win this battle.
Anyway, this candidacy once again underlines the growing interest of the boss of Free for television. We remember in particular that in 2021, the latter had already tried to buy M6 alongside the Arnault group. The following year, it was in partnership with MediaForEurope, the Berlusconi family group, that Xavier returned to the charge with the failure of the merger with TF1.