DTTV is unevenly available between the mainland and the overseas departments

DTTV is available in Saint-Martin. But only on paper. Because in reality, it’s hard to receive it. And the offer is inferior compared to what is available in France.

In France, all the homes have DTTV,  digital terrestrial TV. They get it for free and can watch about thirty public and private channels. In Saint-Martin, things are different. However, it’s not complicated technically speaking to receive this programs package: a simple rake receiver is all you need. Sometimes, you just need to place a mini-antenna on the TV set. But the main obstacle is to find this antenna locally.

Once the antenna is installed, you can watch about ten channels. These mostly consist in the channels of France Télévisions (France 2, 3, 4, Ô, 24, Guadeloupe 1ère, local channels, and Arte). This is not specific to Saint-Martin. It’s the same in all the overseas departments and territories which don’t benefit from the same service as can be found on the mainland. This inequality is often denounced by parliamentarians in Paris. As was the case a few days ago when Reunion deputy, Huguette Bello (Democratic and republican left) spoke out. In a written question sent to the minister of Culture, she pointed out that “the schedule that the Audiovisual Council recommended in 2008 for the full deployment of DTTV in the overseas departments and territories has not respected”.


The most striking disparity concerns the offer of channels. Indeed, there are around ten channels in the overseas departments versus thirty on the mainland. Moreover, private national channels like TF1 or M6 are not available free of charge. “Private DTTV channels which are available for free on the mainland have chosen to broadcast their programs via commercial agreements with satellite service distributors and with local channels (…) Overseas viewers must continue to pay when they wish to watch private channels that are broadcast free of charge on the mainland”, added the deputy, Huguette Bello. Therefore, she asked the minister which “measures she intended to take so that the technical breakthroughs of digital television are not synonymous with further delays in the overseas departments and territories”. For the moment, no answer has been given.








Estelle Gasnet
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