Fatal TV-Show Accident Sends Shares of France’s TF1 DecliningAndrew Roberts
Societe Television Francaise 1, France’s most watched channel, declined in Paris trading after the deaths of 10 people in the latest fatal accident on one of its reality shows.
Three French athletes, including Olympic champion swimmer Camille Muffat, were killed Monday when two helicopters collided while filming “Dropped” in Argentina, TF1 said in a statement on its website. Shares of the TV company, partly owned by French building, media and telecommunications conglomerate Bouygues SA, fell as much as 3 percent for their biggest drop in two months.
The show’s producer, Zodiak Media-owned Adventure Line Productions, said in a statement it was in contact with the French and Argentine authorities and would provide more information as soon as it had it. Maylis Carcabal, a spokeswoman for TF1, said it was too early to comment on whether “Dropped” would be canceled. Stephanie Clemente, a spokeswoman for ALP, couldn’t immediately be reached.
The accident follows the death of a contestant on TF1 reality show “Survivor” in 2013, and the suicide of the program’s doctor, and comes as the television company struggles to reverse a decline in advertising revenue. The show, which TF1 canceled for a season, was also produced by ALP.
The helicopters crashed in La Rioja province in northwestern Argentina, killing all those on board, according to TF1. Eight of the victims were French.
Muffat retired last year after winning gold in the 400-meter freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics. Also killed were boxer Alexis Vastine and sailor Florence Arthaud. They were among athletes participating in the show in which contestants are taken to remote environments and race back to civilization.
In 2010, a contestant on the German game show “Wetten, dass...?” was paralyzed during a stunt on a live broadcast. Long-time host Thomas Gottschalk stepped down after the accident. Under successor Markus Lanz, ratings soon dropped, and last year state-funded channel ZDF ended what had been one of the country’s most popular shows for more than three decades.
Bouygues, which owns about 43 percent of TF1, joined the television company and ALP in expressing its condolences to the families and friends of the victims. TF1 shares fell 1.3 percent to 15.90 euros as of 1:29 p.m. in Paris.
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