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France Télévisions budget woes deepen

France TelevisionsFrench parliamentarians have withdrawn support for a move to ameliorate an additional €50 million (US$58.8 million) in budget cuts imposed on the country’s public broadcaster, France Télévisions.

Deputies from the ruling La République en Marche party quashed moves to modify the cuts by about €20 million by pushing back new rules that will prevent advertising during kids TV content from January next year.

The new French government had earlier decided to impose the additional cuts on top of those made by the previous administration.

Budget rapporteur Joël Giraud had supported an amendment that would have seen the banning of kids advertising delayed by one year, but withdrew it on Saturday, after deputies from his own party declined to support it.

Groups representing the rights of French content creators had earlier expressed surprise and disappointment after it became clear that the governing party would not support the move.

The ARP, BLOC, SACD, SCAM, SPFA, SPI and USPA issued a joint communiqué expressing their concern over the implications of the cuts for content creation.

They said that the current programme of cuts did not give a sign of support for the pubcaster, which remains a pivotal force in the finance of content creation, and questioned whether France Télévisions could meet its commitments for the forthcoming year.

Unions representing staff at the pubcaster last week called for industrial action in protest against the scale of the budget cuts.