France Telecom has launched Orange Sports TV, an IPTV service. The channel will feature sports news, broadcast on television via the Internet and direct to Orange mobile 3G network subscribers.
All content is being provided by Groupe Sporever, a French firm specialising in sports-related content, headed by the former director of sports at web France 2.
Orange already has existing agreements for broadcasting major sports events, such as the French Open and the Tour de France. However, the company will not compete for TV rights for French first and second division soccer matches, which will be available in November.
Orange, the French first league title sponsor, will only re-bid for the mobile rights to League One and Two games, valued at €29m. Nike and vidgame supplier Electronic Arts have been signed up as advertisers.
Orange is the key brand of France Telecom, one of the world's leading telecommunications operators. France Telecom serves more than 163 million customers in five continents, of which two thirds are Orange customers.
France Telecom is the third largest mobile operator in Europe, and the number one provider of broadband internet services in Europe. It is a world leader in the provision of telecommunication services to multinational companies.