M6, France's second-largest free-to-air broadcaster after TF1, has registered a 34% jump in its net earnings in 2000, to Euros 103.5m from Euros 77.3m in 1999, due to improved advertising sales.

The broadcaster, whose main shareholders are Suez and the RTL Group, saw its revenues grow from Euros 629m in 1999 to Euros 743m last year.

French television industry watchdog CSA is curently reviewing M6's broadcasting license in relation with the change in the shareholding structure following the recent take-over of Clt Ufa by Bertelsmann, to create the RTL Group.

There are also concerns in the French television industry that the Luxembourg-based, German-controlled group and Suez (which owns an equal number of voting shares) woud vie for the control of M6, or, in the worst case scenario, that Suez would sell out, although Suez chairman Gerard Mestrallet has firmly stated his intention to retain his group's stake as it is.

M6 and Suez, along with leading French broadcaster TF1, are major partners (a 25% stake each) in digital satellite platform Television Par Satellite (TPS) while public broadcaster France Television which also holds a 25% stake in TPS along with France Telecom is said to be looking to sell its share.

M6 and TF1 have also recently launched a general cable and satellite channel TF6. The latter, aimed at a young adult audience and which broadcast a wide range of programming including films, sitcoms and drama series, is currently carried on TPS.