French TV channel in hot water with gamers for Twitch teardown piece

French TV channel in hot water with gamers for Twitch teardown piece

Screenshot 2014-09-02 09.31.43

French TV Channel Canal+ (a premium channel with a model similar to HBO) is in hot water with the gaming community after one of its shows- Le Grand Journal – ran a piece on Twitch, the live streaming video platform which is popular among hardcore video gamers.

The piece (available here on YouTube), in just two minutes, refers to Twitch as the “latest Internet addiction,” describing users as “watching videos of people playing video games”, following up with “they must really have nothing better to do.” The piece is largely satirical, with the presenters likely assuming that this audience is niche enough to poke fun at.

A petition requesting that the show apologize for its comments has since received over 75,000 signatures.

The situation itself almost perfectly summarizes TV’s relationship to the Internet. For example, the piece continues to tease the nearly 5 Million users who receive millions in donation per year, like Pewdiepie, subsequently noting that the platform has been bought by Amazon (an “evil Silicon Valley giant” according to the show’s presenter) for $970 Million.

Twitch’s acquisition price tag is about the same as the valuation not of Le Grand Journal, but of Canal+ as a whole, which has a market cap of €761 Million according to FT.

The ‘latest addiction’ which the TV show plays off as having a niche audience has created an actual TV channel (real-time video content) where they don’t have to pay the presenters – instead, users themselves pay (and they do pay), and Twitch can add advertisements on top of the service. Next to Canal+’ roughly 12 million premium users, Twitch totes 5 Million free users, whose ‘addiction’ translates into them watching more than the average TV viewer & generating enough value that Google & Amazon fought to acquire them.

TV as a whole no longer makes sense in the age of Internet

The content is premium – and there is some AMAZING content – but that content could be viewed on Netflix or HBO Go or OCS (Orange Content Services) in France (or on Netflix in France, as it ramps up to launch this month).

One of my favorite quotes from the clip was a reaction from the older presenter, responding to the phrase “this is the world we live in in 2014.” His reaction was “I don’t want this world.”

5 Responses

  1. Mikael Gramont

    That was quite sad indeed. The most annoying part I think, is that they call themselves journalists, and this is what they serve us. Instead of spending time on a piece and understanding the issues, they just go for the snappy headline and clichés.

  2. ABC

    Le Grand Journal claims itself a “comedy” show, though it is not funny, and never was. They should apologize for that.
    And the gaming community should stop to victimize itself, it’s ridiculous.

  3. Nico

    Did I not understand your sentence in English, or did you not understand the sentence in French? De Caune doesn’t say that the players don’t give a shit / care about their lives, he means that they don’t have anything (else) to do in their life (“Faut vraiment rien avoir à foutre de sa vie”). Yes, French is a tricky language and it could have meant:-)

    • Liam Boogar

      The latter. The woman was talking over him, so it was hard to understand.

      French is significantly easier than Latin and Ancient Greek, not to mention Icelandic, German, or Russian. Don’t get too excited about the difficulty of your own language.

    • Nico

      Ah ah, sorry – I didn’t want to sound arrogant!
      No need to start me on the “most difficult languages”, I completely agree with this post: (tl;dr: there is no objective “hardest language”)

      Living in a German-speaking environment I definitely relate to this kind of small misunderstandings which happen all the time.

      I would like to thank and congratulate you for giving accurate & interesting news on the French startups to the outside world! Sorry that one of my first comments here (if not the first) sounds negative – my girlfriend also hates me for always correcting her language mistakes 😉

      By the way I think I meant “it could have meant both*” in my previous comment.

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