France Télévisions confirms plan to axe Newen

France Télévisions has reportedly confirmed it will no longer create new projects with Newen Group after protracted talks ended in deadlock.

According to local reports, the French pubcaster has “stopped” negotiations on future Newen projects after it emerged commercial market leader TF1 Group was buying 70% of the production company.

It had previously said it would end development of new Newen-created shows if the deal went ahead, and yesterday a France Télévisions spokesman quoted in several stories said: “After six weeks of discussions, no agreement has been reached with Newen.”

However, long-running existing shows such as the big-rating Plus Belle la Vie have been renewed for 2016.

France Télévisions has claimed it is responsible for up to two-thirds of Newen’s estimated €200 million (US$219 million) annual revenues.

The pubcaster’s over the TF1 sale is shared by French producers body USPA, which suspended Newen and its subsidiaries Telfrance, Barjac Production and Télécip after news of the deal was confirmed.

USPA claims a TF1-owned Newen is at odds with its principles as an industry group of independent producers, while France Télévisions claims its public money should not be used to line the pockets of a major commercial rival. TF1 commercial rival M6 has also voiced concerns.

Despite the opposition, the deal is going ahead after the companies agreed terms of a sale in November.

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