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.
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.