French television companies launched another digital satellite television service with great fanfare this week, although the service is not yet ready and nobody has a decoder at home to receive it.
"The sales campaign starts today, and we can take subscriptions during the Christmas holiday. The decoders will be shipped in the second half of January," Patrick Le Lay, chairman of commercial broadcaster TF1 and of TPS, said Tuesday.
Television par Satellite is the much-hyped joint venture of commercial broadcasters TF1, M6 and Luxembourg's CLT, with cable operator Lyonnaise des Eaux state-owned France Television and France Telecom. It had originally planned to start services before Christmas. TPS aims to compete with Canal Plus' digital satellite offering, Canalsatellite, and the smaller AB Sat, bringing to three the number of digital satellite broadcasters in France.