TF1, FTV and Canal+ sign up to French production reforms – M6 resists

French free-to-air networks TF1, France Télévisions and Canal+ have signed new agreements with independent producers’ associations agreements that amend their production obligations across drama, factual, animation and live shows.

The reforms aim to modernize relationships between broadcasters and indies, but RTL-backed broadcaster M6 has refused to sign up to the new deal.

Initiated by French government, this reform comes back on previous ‘Tasca Decrees’, named after former Culture Minister Catherine Tasca, that set out the networks’ obligations in terms of the level of investment in French-originated programming.

Following the negotiations, TF1’s obligations change from requiring it to allocate 16% to 12.5 % of its annual revenues to domestic production, while France Télévisions will progressively raise its contribution, from 18.5% today to 20% in 2012.

M6 wants primetime news magazine shows included in the agreements and is the only network not to have signed up yet. Talks are still ongoing. If no agreement be found, the French Ministry of Culture has not ruled out issuing a decree that would compel M6 to honour the same requirements as its peers.

The news comes in the same week that French authorities approved Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy’s controversial proposal to ban advertising on the public broadcaster France Televisions. The law prohibits the broadcaster from airing advertisements after 8pm and before 6am, effective January 5.