ACP mulls legal action over PSB funding
Pascale Paoli Lebailly

French association of private networks ACP is studying possible legal action to be launched on the European level against public financial aids poured into public networks to compensate for the prime-time advertising ban.

The announcement was made by M6 Group CEO, Nicolas de Tavernost, whose group is a member of ACP along with TF1 and Canal+, at the presentation of M6 quarter results.

“Evaluations of a revenue loss of €450 million are a joke,” he added. “We estimate that ad revenues really invested in 2009 will be comprised between €150 million and €170 million.”

De Tavernost added that there’s “an excess of compensation from public resources,” since €450 million will be given by the French government over 2009 while public service broadcasting revenues will decrease by only €150-170 million. “This is a flagrant unequal treatment,” he added.

Like TF1, he publicly complained about the new 1.5% tax on additional private networks ad revenues, set to compensate for the PSB ad ban. For M6, it would equal to a €10 million revenue loss in 2009.