Pascale Paoli-Lebailly ©RapidTVNews | 22-07-2011

French-German cultural channel Arte France has been ordered to become more attractive in order to address a slump in viewers.

At the current rate of audience additions, the channel will almost certainly fail to meet the target set for 2012-2016 in its original agreement on target and resources (COM) with the French State.

According to a statement published by French Council of ministers, a new agreement will offer “a strategy to reverse such a situation without getting rid of Arte’s specificities.”

Arte’s schedules, which will be rejuvenated in January 2012, must be “more readable and attractive to a larger rand younger audience.” .

Ministers say the channel will remain the home of creation and investigation documentary, and will keep showing French and European creativity. But Arte will also broadcast more live events and give a larger access to classical music, ballet dancing, opera or theatre, the government insists.

Arte, which is already a leading one in the use of new platforms and technologies, is called to strengthen its presence on the web and produce more web-documentaries, fictions and series.

“Arte France budget has also been raised to accompany the new programming strategy in 2012,” the statement from the French Council of ministers concluded.