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Commercial channels oppose plans to revisit France Télévisions reform

Jean-François Copé, the leader of the governing UMP party in the French National Assembly, has thrown open the question of commercials on the country’s public broadcaster by calling for the maintenance of advertising before 20.00 on France Télévisions’ channels.

However, the government has said it does not intend to revisit the reform, and the maintenance of advertising on the public channels is strongly opposed by France’s commercial broadcasters.

Copé’s call for a change to the reform of the finance of the public channels, which has already seen advertising withdrawn after 20.00, could avoid the need to compensate the broadcaster to the tune of €200-300m from the public purse, and attracted strong support in the assembly, according to press reports. Commercial broadcasters’ association the ACP said that plans to reopen the reform were “worrying” and that the maintenance of advertising on the channels would have an adverse long-term effect on the market.