It has come to my attention that it might not be clear in what languages the network will be available. So let’s clarify things.
Initially, France 24 was supposed to be available over one single feed. On that feed, 20 hours of a day’s programming were to be in French and four hours in English. However, such choice would limit the channel in its plans for expansion (for example, France 24 would be classified as a cultural channel in the United States, thus would be lost in an ethnic package on cable).
Jut over two months ago, France 24’s board of directors decided to request an additional 10 million Euros to enable the creation of a second feed. So the plans today are for France 24 to be available in two versions: one only in French (24 hours a day) and the other one with only four hours in French and the other 20 hours in English.
The English feed would be the only one available in the United States and other non-French speaking regions. As for the French feed, it would be available in France and other regions such as the Middle East where French is a commonly spoken language.
In the following years, France 24 will add Arabic and Spanish. The Arabic language would probably receive one dedicated feed. As for Spanish, it would share the airtime on the English feed.
As for the website, it will be available from the start in French, English and Arabic.
If you have any question you would like to see answered on this blog, do not hesitate to comment or send an e-mail.
France 24 has signed its conventions with the CSA, the French equivalent of the FCC, making the new international news network official.
In order to broadcast in and from France, the network needs accreditation from the CSA. Dominique Baudis, the CSA’s president, Patrick de Carolis, president of France Televisions and member of France 24’s board and Alain de Pouzilhal chairman of the board of director for France 24 signed the conventions on July 28th.
The network signed three conventions: one for the French channel, the second for the English version of France 24 and the third one for Arabic.
Issy-les-Moulineaux, a city located at the outskirts of Paris, is set to welcome the new French international news channel.
The studios are currently under construction, and are slated for completion by the end of September.
All studios, where the shows will be filmed, are to be located on the ground floor of the building. Windows will allow the public to have a direct view from the street on the studio. As for the newscasts, the two teams of journalists (one for the French channel, another for the English one) will have their own studios.
These two studios will be separated by the newsroom for the multimedia team, a group of journalist working on the network’s website as well as on normal televised programming.
All other journalists (around 170) will work in the same newsroom, a 1000 square meters space in the building.
These works, which started in January 2006, will cost, upon completion, 25 million Euros according to the Agence France Presse.
Visitors will be able to witness dry runs for France 24 as soon as October. Journalists will have a little ,ore than a month to get familiar with the studios as well as the format of the network before it goes live in December 2006.
What do we know so far about France 24? Here is a quick recap on the new international news channel.
France 24 will be broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
During the first phase of the launch, France 24 will be available in France, Europe (West and East), North Africa, Africa, Middle-East, and in the New York state and Washington D.C. in the United States. In New York, France 24 will target the United Nations and its diplomats. In Washington D.C., in addition to the American leaders, it will also target the International Monetary Fund.
In the second phase, France 24 will be launched in the rest of the American continent (North and South) as well as in Asia.
France 24 targets the leaders of these countries, “the decision makers,” as Alain de Pouzilhac, chairman of the board of director explained during a hearing at the French commission of cultural affairs of the house of representatives.
France 24 will be broadcast in numeric over cable and the Internet.
At the start, the network will have two channels: one in French and the other one in English. In 2007, France 24 will add four hours of Arabic programming to the English channel. It is hoping to add Spanish programming in 2008 or more likely in 2009.
Journalists will be bilingual. They will all speak French and one of the other languages used by France 24: English, Arabic or Spanish (in 2008/2009). Therefore, and since the content on the two channels must be the same, one journalist will be responsible of translating his or her reports in the two main languages used.
France 24 will be available in some hotels where it is broadcast. According to Alain de Pouzilhac, France 24 is already negotiating with large hotel companies to ensure access to their visitors. The network is also hoping to reach airports and some specific airlines.
In North Africa, 90 percent of the audience will be able to view France 24 for free. In other parts of the world, where access to satellites is not free, France 24 will sign partnerships to ensure that it is received.
France 24 has raised its annual budget to 80 million Euros because of its plans to broadcast over two channels: one in French, the other in English.
Initial plans was for the French government to allocate 70 millions for the new international news network.
Comparatively, CNN’s budget is 650 million Euros, however, BBC World works with only 70 million Euros.
In the case of France 24, 2.2 million will be used to buy images from other networks for F24’s newscast. As for the “shows,” the network will have 2.6 million Euros available every year.
The French international news channel also hopes to attract funds from advertisers. However, the chairman of the board of directors expects only three million Euros in France 24’s first year.
What can you expect to see on France 24 when it starts airing in December 2006? From the various media reports and testimonies in front of commission, the France 24 blog tries to answer the question.
France 24, obviously, will cover national and international news, but it will also focus on subjects such as culture, sport, weather and business. France 24 will offer a vision of the French culture and “art de vivre.” However, programming will not be limited to the French view, France 24 will also show reports and documentaries about other cultures and countries.
France 24 will employ 170 journalists from all European countries, coming from companies such as France Televisions, TF1 and the BBC, according to Ulysse Gosset, the former managing director in charge of news and programming.
France 24’s newscasts will be broadcast every hour and last for around ten minutes. Debates will also take a predominant role on the network. France 24 wants to promote the French confrontational debate style already used by networks within France.
As for the shows, or “magazines” as they are called in France, the new international news channel will use partnerships with French companies to buy their shows. For example, France 24 could buy reports from the show “Envoyé Spécial,” the French equivalent of BBC’s “Panorama” or CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
France 24 will produce one third of its images, the rest will be acquired through partnerships with its main shareholders: TF1 and France Televisions, as well as other French international networks: TV5 Monde, Agence France Presse (AFP), Radio France Internationale (RFI) and Radio France Outre-Mer (RFO).
For example, France 24 is negotiating with Radio France Internationale (RFI), which might produce the international network’s African newscasts. Such newscasts can already be seen on TV5 Monde. Gosset also expects to see deals with Radio France Outre-Mer (RFO).
The network will also use existing foreign bureaus set up and already used by TF1 or France Televisions. Furthermore, France 24 will enter in a close relationship with the video service of the AFP. “We are experimenting a network of ‘news corners’ with the AFP ,” says Gosset explaining that cameras and video editing tools will be installed in some of AFP’s bureaus for the broadcast of live reports from its correspondents.
As we get closer to the launch date, you can be sure to be kept informed of the latest details on France 24’s programming.
France 24, the French international news channel, is set to unveil its new website in three languages, when it comes online later this year. The three languages are French, English and Arabic.
The website will add to the content already available on the network and will also allow for public participation through message boards and blogs.
Using these boards, web users will be able to start debates and exchange ideas with the network. These comments could be used on some of France 24’s shows.
The website’s address is http://www.france24.com.
The American market will be difficult to conquer, according to Alain de Pouzilhac, the chairman of the board of directors of the new French international news network: France 24. De Pouzilhac presented the example of BBC World during a lecture in front of the House of Representatives committee for cultural affairs.
BBC World needed ten years to establish itself on the American market, says de Pouzilhac. Consequently, France 24 is not expected to be shown in French in New York and in Washington D.C. when it starts broadcasting in December 2006. “I think that if we offer the 100 percent French channel , they will immediately put us in an ethnic package,” says de Pouzilhac.
As for the rest of the United States, which will have access to France 24 in 2008, the network intend to use that time to transform its strategy if it is needed.
Quebec and Canada will also have access to France 24 in 2008.
France 24 will be available in France through cable and satellite. Alain de Pouzilhac, the network’s chairman who spoke in from of the House of Representatives’ commission on cultural affairs, expects that 80 percent of the audience will use these means to access the network. The additional 20 percent will watch France 24 over the Internet using broadband.
The network will not be broadcast over the TNT, a new free numeric service (the equivalent of Freeview in the United Kingdom).
The French televised landscape is dominated by two news networks: LCI, owned by TF1, and I>Télé, owned by Canal Plus, a private network company (a sort of French HBO).
France 24 will enter in competition with these two networks. However, Ulysse Gosset, the former managing director in charge of news and programming, tried to reassure the networks by stating that France 24’s programming will be quite different. France 24 will focus more on international news and bring a different view of countries around the world.
More on France 24’s programming will come in the next few days.
A week ago, exactly, Eric Schahl at Elex Conseil registered the domain name http://www.france24.com. Elex Conseil is part of Inlex Conseil, a Paris-based company specializing in the creation and safekeeping of corporate brand names.
The registration, according to whois.net, was for the organization France 24 based at 9 rue Maurice Mallet in Issy les Moulineaux (zipcode: 92130). This particular address is also used by some of TF1’s production companies. France 24 is a joint venture between the private French network TF1 and the public television company France Televisions.
The website in itself has one picture of the planet with the French words: “France 24, the international news channel, coming soon online.”
Alain de Pouzilhac, France 24’s CEO, reportely said that the website would be officially launched a few days before the launch of the network. As a reminder, France 24 is expected to go live in the last week of November or the first week of December.