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How France’s Broadcasters Are Serving Audiences in Lockdown as Ad Revenues Falter



As France surpasses one full week in lockdown mode, TV audiences have jumped by 30% on French public broadcaster France Televisions. Nonetheless, whereas manufacturing on newscasts and choose discuss reveals continues regardless of restrictions on contact, one query begins to emerge — is there sufficient to go round?

French shoots have been halted for brand new drama sequence, TV motion pictures and sport reveals, in addition to sporting occasions through the coronavirus pandemic, leaving native networks to depend on pre-shot content material, in addition to motion pictures, reruns of packages and re-packaged archive reveals.

In the meantime, a couple of standard news-driven day by day reveals which might be filmed stay, reminiscent of “Quotidien,” produced by Bangumi for TF1-owned channel TMC, in addition to “C’est à vous” and “C’est dans l’air,” produced by Troisieme Oeil for France Televisions’s channel France 5, have additionally remained in manufacturing.

Takis Candilis, managing director and head of programming on the multi-channel broadcaster France Televisions, says continued manufacturing — which may very well be perceived as controversial throughout a lockdown — on “C’est a vous,” “C’est dans l’air” and “Les Maternelles,” one other of the broadcaster’s standard discuss reveals, have managed to proceed as a result of they’re third-party reveals.

Owned by Pierre-Antoine Capton, who can be chairman of Mediawan, producer Troisieme Oeil has been taking pictures the present in its personal studio and post-production facility. Capton, nonetheless, admits it’s “very tough to provide a present proper now.”

“Our hosts and crews are persevering with to return and do extraordinary work on a voluntary foundation, we’re checking the temperature of each single one that works with us, and we’re doing increasingly interviews with friends or journalists by Skype or Fb,” says Capton, though he notes that lowered video high quality for companies reminiscent of Skype are set to complicate broadcast interviews.

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“We’re working in a different way with lighter, rotating crews, fewer friends and doing conferences and brainstorming classes by way of (collaboration platform) Microsoft Groups like many within the trade,” says Capton, who provides that the present’s scores have been up between 20% and 30% for the previous week.

“It’s robust for our journalists and crews however all of them really feel the present should go on to protect some stay, human reference to people who find themselves remoted and compelled to remain residence as a result of pandemic,” says Capton.

Candilis says the France Televisions’ programming slate is adjusted day by day, and typically even on an hourly foundation.

“We’re having conferences twice a day proper now. Typically we’ve to interchange a program with one other to ensure we’ve essentially the most smart program at any given time. We’ve postponed sure reveals that weren’t acceptable to the present local weather,” says Candilis.

France Televisions has additionally been ramping up its cultural providing with performs and operas, in addition to instructional reveals for youths who’re being home-schooled, together with motion pictures each day. The nation’s broadcasting authorities often restrict the variety of days TV networks are allowed to air motion pictures however this regulation has been short-term paused as a result of distinctive circumstances.

In the meantime, for gross sales brokers and right-holders of movies and TV sequence, enterprise has been robust as a result of excessive demand from TV channels.

TV networks in France have even obtained permission from broadcasting authorities to air packages they’d bought barely earlier than their permitted second window technically begins, says one TV gross sales government.

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However regardless of these initiatives, Candilis fears France Televisions will begin operating out of content material round mid-April. “The availability is slowing falling like a home of playing cards,” he says.

For industrial networks TF1 and M6, the present lockdown has additionally boosted scores considerably, though promoting revenues have been dropping day after day.

“Each TF1 and M6 are in a tricky scenario the place promoting revenues not maintain the price of their programming roster,” says one high-profile media government.

“On this context, they’re attempting to save lots of as a lot of their contemporary content material and opting for lots of reruns as a result of it’s cheaper, or airing episodes of sequence one after the other, as an alternative of two,” provides the exec.

TF1, which is listed within the Paris inventory alternate, stated Monday that the group was withdrawing its monetary forecasting for the yr as a result of drop in promoting revenues.

“(The decline) is important for March and might be even higher for April. To at the present time, we’ve no visibility over Could and the next months,” stated TF1 in a launch.

On this tough monetary context, it’s not stunning TF1 and M6 have been up in arms when pay-TV group Canal Plus stated on March 16 that it might be free for all through the lockdown, and start providing motion pictures that each free-to-air networks had purchased to air in 22 months.

Hit by widespread protests, Canal Plus, whose window for contemporary motion pictures is ready at 4 months, was required to name off its free supply in 4 days.

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