The French government is working on a bill which is supposed to be subjected to the Parliament and voted before summer 2008. This bill aims to the abolition of advertising on TV public channels of the France Televisions group.
Actually, on January 17, 2008 the French President Sarkozy announced: I would like a television public utility which have to be really different from private channels. One of the means to differentiate the television public utility is to avoid audience and profit researches.
According to Mrs Christine Albanel, the Minister of culture, the aim of this shake-up was not to clone Arte' (A French-German channel without advertising) and the choice of the France Télévisions CEO, Mr Patrick De Carolis, since the end of 2007 to privilege quality than quantity through a barometer is a good tool.
[...] Indeed BBC gets 5.1 billion of resources when all French TV channels funds reach only 3.3 billion. To conclude, it is obvious that there are not a lot of supporters for this project. We can say that the only one who will principally benefit from the abolition of advertising will be private channels. Many politics are against this proposition, like Laurent Fabius who thinks that it is a gift given by Nicolas Sarkozy to the private channels, and in particular to Martin Bouygues. [...]
[...] The scrapping of advertising on public television would also boost private broadcasters TF1 and M6, whose shares rose on Tuesday. First BBC is not a channel like we know in France. It has a lot of different activities next to television like newspapers, radio, etc. Contrary to France Télévisions, BBC gets impressive financial resources because of several reasons. Concerning the financing of the BBC, it is divided in the TV licence fee which is 45% higher in UK than in France, the given amount from the Foreign Office of the UK government which is 250% higher in UK than in France and finally the BBC contract with English government which contains the obligation for BBC to decrease structural costs and in return obtains a guarantee of a growing fee each year. [...]
[...] So, the abolition of advertising on public channels will represent a loss of earnings of about million, forcing France Télévisions to find ways to fill the gap and re-think their means of financing. Furthermore, suppressing advertising on public channels will mean that there will be 3 hours 15 minutes free per day. France Télévisions will have to finance new programs to fill this free time. Of course from our point of view it could be interesting to have more programs and zero ads but it would represent a total investment for France Television of 1.2 billion. [...]
[...] Suppressing advertising on public channels is also a good thing for other Medias, press, radio and Internet. Indeed 33% of investments in advertising are in press for television, and for Internet. We can predict that this trend will probably change and help new communication technologies like Internet. Consequences for professionals We should not forget to talk about professionals which could be very impacted. The Simavelec (Syndicat des Industries de Matériels Audiovisuels Electro) which represents all professionals of television, computers and mobile phones, is concerned by taxes on new communication technologies. [...]
[...] Hervé Bourges, former CEO of TF1 (until its privatization in 1987), France Télévisions and CSA (Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel) disapproves the possible suppression of advertising because it will put in jeopardy the French public audiovisual: “With the suppression of advertising, France Télévisions will not take care of TV audience and this could lead to a major risk of commitment in the choice of programs and as a result, anyone will see them and at the same time the risk will be the reliance in the State.” The new project about the abolition of advertising on public channels had of course entailed several reactions from employees and trade unions of France Television, from politics, from consumers, and from producers. [...]
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