TF1, M6 embark on merger plan | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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It may not have the scale and the potential market ramifications of the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia but French media giants Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 are in talks to come together and make a French response to the global media platforms.
tf1 18may 2021
The merger of Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 would create a company with consolidated 2020 Pro Forma revenues of €3.4 billion and a current operating profit of €461 million. The project has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Groupe Bouygues, RTL Group, Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 and the companies expressed confidence that the new group would be well positioned to master the challenges arising from the accelerating competition with global platforms, active on the French advertising market and in the production of quality audiovisual content.

The two firms say they recognise the challenges of a market where increasingly rich, original and exclusive content is driving long term audience growth. A market they say where linear TV remains a powerful media but one which is undergoing a structural transformation with a strong shift towards on-demand consumption.

The two firms say the combination of their brands would allow the new group to invest more and to step-up innovation. The proposed merger is seen as critical to ensure the long-term independence of French content creation and to continue to offer diversified and premium local content to the benefit of all viewers.

Right at the heart of the merger would be the acceleration of the development of a French streaming champion combining a catch-up and live streaming offer - based on the existing MyTF1 and 6play products – as well as a SVOD service that could hold its own in a global streaming industry that is currently dominated by the current US giants whose grip will only be tightened with the scale of the likes of the newly merged Discovery and WarnerMedia.

The new company will also aim to develop what it says will be cutting-edge technology in streaming, notably using Groupe TF1’s assets and the Bedrock platform, jointly owned with RTL Group, and in addressable TV advertising to meet the needs of viewers and customers.

“The merger between Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 is a great opportunity to create a French total video champion that will guarantee independence, quality of content, and pluralism – values that have long been shared by our two groups,” said Gilles Pélisson, chairman and CEO of Groupe TF1. “It will be an asset in promoting French culture. Groupe TF1 now approaches a new stage in its development, consistent with the strategic vision developed in the past 5 years.”

Nicolas de Tavernost, CEO of Groupe M6, added: “The consolidation of the French television and audiovisual markets is an absolute necessity if the French audience and the industry as a whole are to continue to play a predominant role in the face of exacerbated international competition, which is accelerating rapidly. The combination of the two groups’ know-how will allow for an ambitious French response. Furthermore, this proposed merger of Groupe M6 and Groupe TF1 is the only transaction offering value creation for all Groupe M6 shareholders.”