French âCNN rivalâ to start 2004
A French 24-hour international news channel designed to rival the BBC and CNN should be on the air by late next year after state approval of a public-private consortium to run the broadcaster. "This channel will exist," said Bernard Brochand, as he released his report on what has become known as a "CNN a la francaise". State financing for the television channel - whose annual budget for the first five years has been put at EUR 70 million (USD 80 million) - would be fast-tracked, he said. Its programmes would not be available to homes in France, where TF1 has its own all-news channel, LCI, but would be beamed across the rest of Europe, as well as to Africa, the Middle East and to Central Asia. The French foreign ministry, currently headed by Dominique de Villepin, would likely be in charge of the channel, Brochand said, though he added that the government would formally decide that aspect later. Even though Brochand said "it is absolutely essential that this channel be independent," he also stressed that its vocation was to be "the voice of France." "This channel will encourage the expression of a French vision which is more necessary than ever in the world today," Raffarin said in a statement Monday.
Posted by: Seafarious 2003-09-30