The conflict between private and public channels escalates


The conflict by letter between TF1, M6 etc. and France Télévisions continues. The war even…

The conflict between private and public channels escalates

The conflict between private and public channels escalates

The conflict by letter between TF1, M6 etc. and France Télévisions continues. The war even shows a notch. According to our information, the ociation of Private Channels (ACP), bringing together TF1, M6, Altice (BFMTV etc.) and Canal +, is preparing to send a press release to relaunch the debate and above all “refocus it”, explains a good connoisseur. .

In this document, which “Les Echos” was able to consult, the ACP “unambiguously supports the role of public service television as well as its current level of funding” but “requests clarification of the rules so that everyone can best fulfill its missions within a framework of balanced competition. Clearly, the private sector is not seeking to attack the public funding of France Télévisions, nor its very existence, but they want it to have a well-differentiated offer. The ACP adds that its proposals “can only reinforce the important role of public and private investment in French creation”.

The private channels believe, in fact, that France Télévisions walks too much on their toes. They point, in particular, to “a surprisingly commercial programming” for France 2, denouncing an under-exposure of public service missions, citing documentaries, live shows or the abundance of police series and American films. Face in defense of Delphine Ernotte president of France Television, they take as support reports from Arcom.

In this press release, the ACP therefore asks once again that the public service channels “respect broadcasting obligations per channel, like their private competitors”. Finally, the ociation wishes that the rules on advertising “be reaffirmed and cannot be circumvented”, in particular with regard to advertising on digital applications or the ban on advertising after 8 p.m. on public channels, the ACP having calculated that there were approximately 25 minutes of publicity in the evening for the whole group.

Letter to the minister, response from France Télévisions…

The affair began about a week ago with a letter from the private channels to the Prime Minister. In it, they castigated significant “competitive advantages” compared to private groups.

In the process, France Télévisions prepared a letter to respond point by point. For the group, the beautiful audiences of France 2 undoubtedly feed “the feverishness” of the private channels, and their “false arguments”.

At the same time, Delphine Ernotte, president of France Télévisions, gave an interview to the “Figaro” , evoking a “characterised aggression against the public service”, considering that the private channels are “wrong in combat and in the wrong era”. With data, she lists the points of differentiation of her group, in live performance, fiction, cinema, etc. – while on their side, the ACP maintains its figures. “The real goal of TF1 is to force us to reduce our investments in creation to lower the audiences of our fictions,” she said.

COM negotiation

The following ? It will undoubtedly be done in the cabinets of the public authorities. ACP members ask to be received by parliamentarians and the government. The objective is for the State shareholder to take up the subject within the framework of the negotiation of the COM (contracts of objectives and means) or for the parliament to get involved.

The timing is not insignificant: on the one hand, the public groups are currently negotiating their COM, but in addition, the senators just called to review the organization of public broadcasting while the National embly must soon issue its conclusions following a mission on this subject.

For the record, one of the triggers of this conflict was humor. A consultation of the DGMIC on live performance on France Télévisions, at the beginning of the year, with the possibility of including humor in the obligations of the public, did not make the private sector laugh… “It would have the effect of have even greater competition to acquire the rights to these shows, ”explains a good connoisseur.

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