French broadcast law passes

French Parliament, that includes both deputies and senators, have finally agreed on the new broadcast law, whose major measure is - already effective – the public service broadcasting advertising ban. This vote closes one year of controversy and very hard parliamentary debates. French government expects the law, initiated by President Sarkozy, “will give a new dynamic to French TV and radio market.”

Besides the ad ban, for which financial compensation will come from a rise in the licence fee from €116 to €122 at the end of 2010, and a tax on private networks’ and telcos’ revenues, the reform will also lead France Télévisions holding to restructure into a unique company.

The president of public TV and radio services will now be named by the French President and no more by French regulatory body CSA. Finally, private networks such as TF1 and M6 will be able to introduce a second ad cut into prime-time movies.

The text of the law has still to be agreed by the Constitutional Council which is controlled by leftwing party PS and the State Council, controlled by communist senators.