French producers condemn new channels’ refusal to enter into negotiations

Five groups representing French TV writers, producers and creators have expressed astonishment at what they see as the collective refusal of new cable, satellite and digital-terrestrial channels to open negotiations with the country’s production industry, as demanded by culture minister Christine Albanel.

The SACD, SCAM, SPECT, SPI and USPA groups, which collectively represent TV authors, creators and producers, said in a statement that the new channels together often attracted more viewers than mainstream commercial channel M6 or public channel France 3, and that they had benefited from the new rules restricting advertising on the public channels without contributing to the local production industry. The group said that the channels¹ investment in local production, proportional to their resources, should not be less than that of the mainstream channels whose audience share they were eroding progressively.

Meanwhile, a number of French broadcasters have formed an association to lobby these local production quota rules. Digital terrestrial channels including W9, NRJ12, Gulli and Virgin 17 have joined with 30 cable and satellite channels to launch the trade body that will lobby authorities.