Few advertisements remain on public service channels, but it is still too much for some parliamentarians. MEPs recommend removing advertising on France television channels - including program sponsorships - between 20 p.m. and 6 a.m., in order to "reaffirm the singularity of the public service," according to a report consulted on Tuesday by our colleagues from AFP.
This abolition should also concern digital platforms as France.tv, recommend Jean-Jacques Gaultier (LR) and Quentin Bataillon (Renaissance), respectively president and rapporteur of the fact-finding mission on the future of public broadcasting at the National Assembly, which will make public its conclusions on Wednesday. The France Télévisions group said it would not react until after the publication of the report.
"Sustaining the financing of public broadcasting"
This recommendation comes in a context of tensions between France Télévisions and the Association of Private Channels (ACP), which brings together TF 1, M 6, Canal + and Altice (BFM, RMC). At the beginning of May, the ACP had called on Elisabeth Borne to accuse France Télévisions of unfair competition.
"In a particularly competitive television advertising market," the ACP asks "that the rules be reaffirmed and cannot be circumvented, especially with regard to advertising on digital applications or the prohibition of advertising after 20 p.m. on public channels," the association said in a statement. MEPs also call for "a gradual reduction in advertising, in all its forms, on public service television and radio channels".
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Nevertheless, to compensate for the loss of advertising revenue for public broadcasting, they propose the allocation "to the nearest euro, of a fraction of the revenue from the digital services tax", which concerns the largest companies in the sector. In addition, MEPs call for "perpetuating the financing of public broadcasting by a fraction of VAT", which has replaced the contribution to public broadcasting, better known as the "TV fee".
Towards a public broadcasting holding company?
They also call for the end of "the budgetary constraint exercise conducted since 2018, in order to give public broadcasting the means to carry out the necessary investments in the new challenges" of the sector. Finally, these elected officials advocate the creation of "a governance structure capable of playing the role of leader and facilitator between public broadcasting entities", that is to say a common "strategic holding" between France Télévisions, Radio France, France Médias Monde and the National Audiovisual Institute (INA).
The creation of a public broadcasting holding is also the flagship measure of a bill presented by the centrist president of the Senate's Culture Committee, Laurent Lafon, in early May. The text, supported by the Senate majority, will be examined in committee on Wednesday before being discussed in public session on June 12.