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IRIS 2018-8:1/24

France

Reform in public audiovisual sector - Government announces its decisions

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Amélie Blocman

Légipresse

On 4 June 2018, Minister for Culture Françoise Nyssen presented her plan for the reform of the public audiovisual sector. Stressing the need to involve all the professionals in the sector and the creation branch, she appointed a consultative task group which made its conclusions public on 18 July 2018.

The first work area identified by the task group concerned an increase in the offer of local programmes, which should involve tripling the number of regional programmes on France 3, covering all programme genres: news, documentaries and magazine programmes, service broadcasts, sport, etc. The second work area identified was the need to enrich and develop the offer of programmes for young people. Apart from television programmes, the mission advocates the development of other types of broadcasting, so that the public service offer remains a benchmark for the younger generations, who are gradually turning away from television in favour of digital uses. At the same time, a benchmark offer of animated works, free from advertising, will be offered in a secure digital environment for parents and children, as well as a joint offer for teenagers and young adults (15- to 30-years-olds), which will particularly promote short and innovative formats. As announced by the Minister for Culture, an educational platform common to the undertakings in the public audiovisual sector will also be launched in 2019. The conclusions of the consultative task group also indicate that the current organisation of the public audiovisual sector does not afford the overseas territories the visibility they need. On all these points (the local offer, the offer for young people, the representation of overseas territories, digital strategy), companies will define the operational way in which they will apply the guidelines laid down by the government. The government has indeed confirmed that it is to maintain the investments in creation (560 million euros for France Télévisions and Arte), triple regional programming on France 3, and invest an additional 150 million euros in the digital offer by 2022. The advertised aim is to help gain control over public expenditure: by 2022, savings of 190 million euros (compared with the 2018 budget) will need to be made by all the audiovisual companies in the public sector, including 160 million euros by France Télévisions and 20 million euros by Radio France.

The governance of the entities and the reform of the contribution to the public audiovisual sector are to be debated as part of the reform of the 1986 Freedom of Communication Act, which will also transpose the AMS Directive into French law, cover the regulation of public and private operators, and include a section on advertising. The text should also cover the relationships between both channels and producers and channels and access providers. It ought to be submitted at the end of the year.

References
Bilan de la consultation - Commission de concertation sur la réforme de l'audiovisuel public, 18 juillet 2018 FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19200
 
  Result of the consultation - Concertation commission on the reform of the public audiovisual sector, 18 July 2018