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French local TV groups speak out on future of services

Groups involved in developing local TV in France have expressed opposition to relaxation on rules regarding media concentration and the entry of major broadcasters into the sector, according to media regulator the CSA.

Twenty-three contributions have been submitted to a consultation document published at the end of last year by the CSA and government cultural and media industries body the DGMIC on how to best develop local TV services.

Industry organisations pressing for local TV services, existing local TV services and four major broadcast groups – France Télévisions, Bolloré Média, RTL Group and Lagardère Active Broadcast – were among the groups that made submissions.

According to the CSA, the majority of interested parties were opposed to the creation of larger coverage zones that could give broadcasters scale and reduce costs if that meant mergers between players involved, but were supportive of the idea that various groups could collaborate to reduce costs. Most accepted the obligations that regulators are likely to place on local broadcasters.

The majority of submissions called for improvement in the accuracy of audience measurement and cooperation between channels over advertising syndication and harmonisation of schedules.

While interested parties were opposed to the entry of national broadcast groups, they were broadly favourable to the establishment of a partnership with public channel France 3’s regional variants, including access to France 3 programming. However, France 3 itself remains non-committal on this.

The CSA and DGMIC will make specific recommendations over the next few months, which will be put to further consultation.

Tags: France