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Week ending January 14, 2017

TF1 Group - EUROPEAN DIGITAL ALLIANCE BETWEEN THE TF1 GROUP, PROSIEBENSAT.1 AND MEDIASET - January 12, 2017
from Virginie Duval/TF1 Group

The TF1 group is accelerating its push into digital by taking a 6.1% equity stake in Studio71, the no.4 MCN (Multi Channel Network*) worldwide with over 6 billion video views per month and 1,100 channels, and European market leader in terms of the subscriber base per channel. Studio71 – which has an international footprint, with a presence in Germany, the USA and the UK – is a subsidiary of ProsiebenSat.1, a major media group in Germany

This partnership forms part of a pan-European alliance, with ProsiebenSat.1 simultaneously entering into a similar arrangement with Italy’s Mediaset, the leading private-sector media group in Italy.

This tie-up between three major players on the European broadcasting scene will enable Studio71 to aggregate a quality, high-powered audience and build new relationships with the major international platforms.

It will also give Studio71 the capability to offer talented web creatives international exposure in the USA, Germany, Italy, the UK and France, and to deliver global marketing solutions to advertisers.

The TF1 group is to be Studio71’s operator in France

For the launch of Studio71 in France the TF1 group will use Finder Studios, of which it is a shareholder alongside Makever. Studio71 is to become a strategic shareholder of Studio71 France in order to accelerate its development.

Finder Studios is the no.2 MCN in France, with a portfolio of 70 web content creators and 200 million video views per month. In less than two years, Finder Studios has become no.1 in the beauty and style niche, and no.2 for humour. building a strong reputation through collaborations with iconic brands and with the most influential female YouTubers via events such as the “Get Beauty” show in Paris.

Short spin-offs from TF1 group programmes will add a rich seam of premium content to the Studio71 offering, with strong potential for building audiences and user loyalty.

This new entity will also draw upon the editorial and marketing expertise of the international teams at Studio71, especially in Germany and the United States.

Digital video content sourced from the alliance will be commercialised in Francophone territories by TF1 Publicité, the TF1 group’s advertising airtime sales house. Studio71’s international content, which already generates over 60 million video views per month in France, will be incorporated into TF1 Publicité’s commercial offerings.

This deal reinforces TF1 Publicité’s push into new audience segments and consolidates its position as France’s no.1 content marketplace.

This transaction is subject to clearance from the German and Austrian competition authorities.

This investment represents a key plank in the TF1 group’s digital strategy, and addresses three major
ambitions:

becoming a benchmark online video player in France across all platforms by developing content targeted at millennials;
reinforcing TF1 Publicité’s position as a key partner for advertisers seeking to reach new audiences;
providing web content creators with unrivalled exposure (TV, digital, diversifications) and international audience monetisation.

Gilles Pélisson, Chairman & CEO of the TF1 group, says: “Taking an equity stake in Studio71 positions the TF1 group in the global digital ecosystem alongside two major European media groups. And becoming the operator of Studio71 in France strengthens the TF1 group’s market leadership in multi- platform online video and consolidates TF1 Publicité’s status as France’s leading content marketplace. I am delighted to be developing this strategic alliance, which gives the TF1 group the opportunity to build a parallel universe alongside TV, on a European scale.”

University of Leicester - Research reveals what audiences expect when TV is offensive - January 10, 2017
from Alex Phillimore/University of Leicester

Researchers from the University of Leicester and Birmingham City University have revealed some of the key concerns audiences have with television they find ‘offensive’.

Dr Ranjana Das from the University of Leicester School of Media, Communication and Sociology and Dr Anne Graefer from the Birmingham School of Media travelled to towns and villages across Britain and Germany and watched daytime TV with audiences, viewing programmes audiences themselves reported to be offensive or problematic and then conducting interviews with them.

They found that rather than being concerned with swear words, bad language or flashy lighting, audiences’ greater concerns were with wider issues – such as those around the construction of characters, the relative power and positions of the actors/creators behind characters and the absence and erasure of faces and issues.

Dr Das said: “We were keen, in our fieldwork, to probe audiences’ expectations of the regulatory process in the context of media content they themselves identified as problematic or outright offensive.

“In analysing responses which argued for a clearer role of institutions to better serve the needs of audiences, when it came to the production and regulation of content they found problematic, we found a closer alignment with the democratic ideals behind the media’s and media institutions’ responsibilities.

“Audience responses speak more about ideals and expectations placed on institutions acting for, speaking for and on behalf of audiences and publics.”

In investigating people’s expectations of actors and institutions in their responses to television content that startles, upsets or just offends them, the researchers suggest it is crucial to treat a conversation on free speech and censorship with caution.

Dr Das added: “It is never just about being for one or the other – as audiences clearly despise totalitarian censorship regimes for right reasons. But equally, they place expectations on producers and regulators to create a media sphere which is engaging, responsible and which contributes to good outcomes for citizens.”

The research will be explored in the researchers’ forthcoming book Provocative Screens, due for publication in 2017.

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