Film shhoting
Photo: AFP
25 September 2019

"France Médias": a powerful and agile public audiovisual service in the face of digital evolution

Over the past thirty years, the French audiovisual landscape has been constantly changing: in the digital age, consumer habits have undergone a dramatic transformation. The bill on the public audiovisual service makes provision for an extensive reorganisation of the sector.
The bill on audiovisual communication and cultural independence in the digital age aims to bring audiovisual regulation into the 21st century.

The two goals of the bill are to:
  • revitalise the sector and ensure cultural independence, in order to develop diversity and creativity, and promote the influence of the French audiovisual sector and French cinema.
  • protect citizens from some of the excesses associated with digital technology and offer all people, in urban or rural areas, in Metropolitan or Overseas France, of all ages and backgrounds, a closer and more efficient service.

The bill’s key measures

Creation of a "France Médias" parent company

"The main companies in the public audiovisual sector (France Télévisions, Radio France, France Médias Monde, which oversees RFI and France 24, and INA - National Audiovisual Institute) will be brought together under one holding company called "France Médias", announced the Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, on Wednesday 24 September 2019. The purpose of this structure is to define a coherent, tri-media strategy (TV, radio, internet), at local, national and international level, as well as ambitious editorial cooperation.

Developments in funding for French and European creation

Foreign actors who provide a service to the French public, such as Netflix or Amazon, must contribute financially to French and European production. These highly visible actors will be required to feature French and European creations, particularly those that are independent (films, series, documentaries, etc.), and partly finance their production. They will in this way build on and complement the contribution made by longstanding French actors with whom they are competing directly.

Relaxation of television advertising regulations

The aim is to give television channels the means to compete on equal terms with digital players. This will be achieved by allowing advertisements to be differentiated according to the socio-demographic or geographical characteristics of the viewer – once the viewer has given his or her consent to the use of his or her personal data (under the GDPR). Digital players already benefit from these advantages, but do not provide funding for creation or pluralism.

Merger of HADOPI and CSA to form a new authority, ARCOM

The Regulation Authority for Audiovisual and Digital Communication will position itself as a single regulator, and will be better equipped to handle all communication issues in a new digital environment, including author's right protection.