March 20, 2012 / 9:43 AM / 5 years ago

French regulator delays new TV channel decision

PARIS, March 20 (Reuters) - France's CSA broadcast regulator said it was delaying its decision on awarding six new television channels, which had been expected as early as Tuesday, because of the school shooting in Toulouse that has shocked the country.

"Given the dramatic events affecting the families of the victims and the country, the CSA shares this pain and is delaying its decision to select the new television channels," a CSA spokeswoman said.

The CSA is weighing up 30 applications for new channels including those submitted by TF1 and M6, the country's two biggest private broadcasters.

Media-to-aerospace conglomerate Lagardere has pitched a channel based on its Elle magazine targeted at women, while the country's biggest sports newspaper, L'Equipe, has proposed a sports-themed channel.

The new free-to-air channels are expected to take roughly 4 percent of the TV audience by 2014, according to market forecaster Vivaki, which is owned by Publicis. (Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Leila Abboud; Editing by James Regan)

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