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Why France wants to ban Netflix and Amazon Prime buttons on remotes

With sales of connected televisions on the rise, more and more French people are abandoning traditional channels to watch television on demand. For the Cultural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, the presence of buttons for accessing the main streaming services on the remote controls could endanger French television channels.

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It’s on the war of the buttons that go floor French deputies for two months. The buttons in question are those that give direct access to Netflix, Prime Video, or even Disney + on remote controls connected televisions. A practice which could have the effect of diverting viewers from French television channels since it led to the creation of a so-called “rapid” parliamentary commission of inquiry by the National Assembly. The cultural affairs committee of the parliament must indeed deliver an opinion at the end of January on this question.

With connected televisions and even boxes, it must be said that the consumption of programs is different with applications from video on demand or from replay which are easily accessible and almost always preinstalled. The presence of the logo on the remote control of one of these streaming is also the subject of financial agreements with television manufacturers. This is particularly the case for Samsung and LG with Netflix.

Again the French exception

Labeled buttons undoubtedly accentuate the phenomenon, but is it to the point of representing a “danger” for French television channels as underlined by Bruno Studer, the chairman of this Commission for Cultural Affairs? It is possible but fear not stopping the danger, it will be the reality of the uses that will come to demonstrate it. Unless maybe impose a button jump with an enticing content offer.

In this sense, the deputies have already added an article to the law on freedom of communication promulgated, the September 30, 1986. From 1is January 2022, it will impose, on pain of a heavy fine, appropriate visibility of services of general interest on the interfaces of televisions and speakers. One way to make the French offer more visible.

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