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France Télévisions, Eutelsat to partner on 4K channels

The headquarters of France Télévisions in Paris. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
The headquarters of France Télévisions in Paris. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

France Télévisions has expanded its partnership with satellite platform Eutelsat that will see the latter play host to two new ultra-high definition channels.

The pact comes as France’s public broadcast service deepens its commitment to bring television audiences more access to ultra-high definition (UHD/4K) programming, with two new UHD terrestrial channels in the works.

In a press release on Monday, Eutelsat said France Télévisions will utilize its new DVB-SIS, or digital video broadcasting single illumination system, to transmit the UHD channels. DVB-SIS allows a program provider like France Télévisions to distribute its terrestrial and satellite channels from a single content source.

The two new UHD channels are expected to start up in early 2024, the companies said. The channels will offer UHD simulcasts of the country’s two main public broadcast outlets, France 2 and France 3, and appears timed to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, which are taking place in Paris. The Olympic Broadcasting Services, the pool broadcaster for the Olympic Games that provides live video signals to commercial and public broadcasters in each country where Olympics programming is available, is expected to provide telecasts of most events in UHD this upcoming year.

“With 4K standards, France Télévisions is delighted to be able to bring our France 2 and France 3 channels to our viewers with exceptional picture and sound quality,” Jacquez Donat-Bouillud, the head of distribution for France Télévisions, said in a statement. “Eutelsat has provided us with an innovative and competitive solution for feeding terrestrial and satellite networks. Eutelsat’s technical expertise and quality of services were decisive for us.”

“We are honoured to have been chosen by France Télévisions for the first launch of a public UHD channel, and the first deployment of the DVB-SIS standard in France,” Laurence Delphy, the general manager for Eutelsat’s video business sector, said on Monday. “By incorporating this mutualized approach in their distribution strategy, feeding both terrestrial and satellite networks from a single source, France Télévisions is efficiently ensuring that all viewers across the French territory can enjoy the 4K quality programmes, no matter where they are located.”

France Télévisions is not the first broadcaster in the country to offer UHD broadcasts: Canal Plus, the country’s main commercial broadcaster, has offered live events and on-demand video in UHD quality for some time.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).