French broadcasting authority says streaming service cannot retransmit public service channels under "must-carry" law
The CSA found in favor of France Télévisions, holding that the must-carry provisions of French law only apply to distributors that have "subscribers" (abonnés). Play TV is indeed a "distributor," says the CSA. But insofar as Play TV is a free OTT service, it does not have any "subscribers." Consequently, the CSA found that Play TV cannot use the French must-carry rules in order to force France Télévisions to make its signals available free of charge.
The CSA gave Play TV until the end of 2013 to stop retransmission of France Télévisions' channels, or in the alternative, to either negotiate a deal with France Télévisions for the rebroadcast of its signals or modify its service such that Play TV has "subscribers" and can therefore fall under the must-carry provisions of French law.
The text of the CSA's decision has not been published. The CSA issued a press release on July 30, 2013.