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France Télévisions to merge channels and focus on digital

French culture minister has outlined a number of changes to be implemented as part of public service media reform

French culture minister Françoise Nyssen has highlighted a number of economic changes to be implemented by France Télévisions as part of the country’s reform of public service media.

The public broadcaster’s youth-focussed channel France 4 will be merged with France 5, which will have a revamped programming line-up, while it will also focus on developing a digital-only offering for young people.

Meanwhile, France 3 will see the amount of regional programming it airs trebled from the current two hour daily regional opt-out.

Nyssen (pictured above) said that with regards to France Ô, the channel dedicated for France’s overseas territories and departments, they would need to consult with citizens in these territories to determine whether an over-the-air channel or a digital offering would be the most suitable.

Nyssen, speaking to Le Monde, said that she had in mind a “universal” public service media that was capable of resisting “new competition” and responding to citizen’s evolving needs. She said that the goal was to focus “on content more than on distribution”.

She also said that France Télévisions would have to invest €150 million more a year in digital as part of a drive to address changing media consumption patterns, especially among young audiences.

Nyssen said she would commission a task force made up of UniFrance chief Isabelle Giordano, former CSA director-general Frédéric Lenica, Fablabchannel founder Claire Leproust-Moroko, former BBC executive Catherine Smadjia and former France Télévisions president Marc Tessier to supervise the reform process going forward.