French digital pay-TV platform Television Par Satellite (TPS) has announced that it has reached the one million subscribers mark, but that it will also have accumulated losses of $502m (FFr3.7bn) by the end of this year.
TPS - which is backed by terrestrial broadcasters TF1, M6 and France Television as well as cable and telecom operators Suez Lyonnaise and France Telecom - also announced that it expects to reach breakeven in 2002 with 1.4 million subscribers. It is the main competitor to Canal Plus' digital operation CanalSatellite, which reached the 1.5 million subscribers mark in September and will show a profit for the first time this year.
TPS is expected to register $346m (FFr2.55bn) in sales in 2000, compared to CanalSatellite's prospective $543m (FFr4bn) turnover. The two operators have been fighting an expensive all-out war for film and sports rights since TPS was launched in 1996. Although they have finally reached a compromise concerning soccer, TPS has been fighting an on-going legal battle against Canal Plus over access to French films.