Businessman Xavier Niel, owner of the Iliad (Free) telecoms group and shareholder of several press titles, is a candidate for the takeover of a TNT frequency as part of the renewal of those of TF1 and M6, according to a Arcom press release published on Monday.
Three files have been submitted for the takeover of these channels: those of TF1 and M6, historical holders of the existing frequencies, and that of a company owned by Mr. Niel, whose project called “SIX” shows that it aims to current frequency of M6.
The authorizations for the TF1 and M6 channels for their broadcast on DTT expire on May 5th. The hearings of the three candidates by Arcom, the media regulator, will take place on February 15, for an hour and a half each.
Xavier Niel is the eighth fortune of France, according to the Forbes ranking, and is notably a shareholder of the Le Monde group (Le Monde, Télérama, La Vie, Le Monde diplomatique, Courrier international).
With this candidacy, submitted via his company NJJ Projet 5523, he once again shows his interest in television: he had already tried to buy RTL’s stake in the M6 group twice, in May 2021 then in October 2022 after the failure of the merger project between TF1 and M6.
Last fall, Mr. Niel had indeed made a takeover offer in tandem with the Berlusconi family (MediaForEurope group). The owner of M6, the German media giant Bertelsmann, had finally chosen to keep the group in its fold.
Launched in December by Arcom, this call for candidates for the renewal of these frequencies is the first since 1987, the year of the privatization of TF1 and the arrival of M6 on the sixth hertzian network.