What future for French public television without adverts?
Guillaume Goubert comments on the French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposal to eliminate advertising from French public television. “Television without adverts will be even less free than ever before. Numerous French people already moan about having to pay the licensing fee that pays for 60% of public broadcasting today. If tomorrow the television audience of channels without advertisements were to decrease, the following argument would no doubt resound immediately: ‘why should I have to pay for channels that nobody even watches?’ If they are to survive in their current configuration, public channels are going to have to invent popular television that is different from that of private channels. This is a quite a challenge in the swiftly changing audiovisual context. Younger generations no longer watch television in the same way as their elders. Navigating through images on their computers, they nibble at programs all over the place.