The National Assembly proposes to save French channels by removing the Netflix button from TV remote controls

Faced with the supremacy of streaming platforms to the detriment of traditional TV channels, the National Assembly has just launched a flash mission. It will focus in particular on the visibility of Netflix and others on the interface and remote control of connected TVs. One of the advanced solutions? Remove Netflix, Amazon, and Disney + buttons from TV remotes.

netflix button remote control
Credits: Pixabay

While the National Assembly wants to further support the book economy by increasing the price of delivery prices on Amazon and others, the deputies of the Palais Bourbon are now working to save French TV channels. This Wednesday, the Hemicycle launched a flash mission on the home screens of boxes and connected TVs. With this study, the Cultural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly wants to look at the promotion of streaming platforms on connected TVs and operator boxes.

The deputies point the finger in particular these buttons Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney + which one finds on more and more remote controls of connected TV. According to Bruno Studer, president of the Cultural Affairs Commission of the National Assembly, the omnipresence of these platforms on the interfaces and remote controls of connected TVs represents a danger for television channels, “who risk being penalized in the future ”. He adds : “And we do not refrain from appealing to the Competition Authority, according to the conclusions of the mission ”.

Fighting the omnipresence of Netflix and Amazon on connected TVs

As our colleagues from Les Échos specify, the vast majority of connected TVs sold to date have these buttons and natively embed the Netflix, Disney + or Amazon Prime Video applications. In fact, the stakes are high, especially when we know that 3.3 million connected TVs found buyers this year in France. This represents an increase of 35% compared to sales recorded in 2020.

Big manufacturers like Samsung and LG are doing global deals with Netflix. And there are more and more remote controls of this type in recent years ”, explains a specialist of a large chain in the columns of the newspaper. Of course, MEPs also target operators, who highlight these streaming services on their boxes, sometimes to the detriment of replays of traditional channels or even French platforms like Salto.

Delphine Ernotte, president of France Television, unsurprisingly supports this measure. She recalls that is currently present on connected TVs, but that she does not know “what it will be tomorrow, because it is the jungle. Likewise, on the boxes, we are present, but at the goodwill of the telecom operators ”.

Amazon Prime Video

A planned article of law and a new French exception to come?

How can the visibility of French channels and services be strengthened? An article was added by the deputies to the law on freedom of communication of September 30, 1986. It provides that from January 1, 2022 user interfaces on televisions, speakers or application stores must ensure “appropriate visibility ” services of general interest. And precisely, other services could join them, such as French TV channels, if Arcom gives its approval after a public consultation.

Thus, these services will be able to enjoy better visibility on the screen or the home page, in the recommendations made to users or in the search results. And if breaches are noted, in particular by Arcom, operators and manufacturers could be required to pay fines.

However, and it is important for us to make it clear, this measure risks adding a new French exception such as the chronology of the media. Indeed, if this measure is adopted, connected TV manufacturers will therefore have to adapt the manufacture of remote controls and the interface of their product for the French market. What potentially lead them to delay the release of the next connected TVs in our country.

Source: Les Echos

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