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France TV cooks dough for digital

Only 3 new channels to be created, instead of planned 6

PARIS — France Television was celebrating Thursday after a government decision to plow 1 billion francs ($134.5 million) into the pubcaster’s digital terrestrial TV plans, ending months of uncertainty.

But it can only afford to create three new channels, not the six it planned.

The new channels will be a round-the-clock news web, a regional net and a family channel featuring the best of programming from pubcasters France 2, France 3, La Cinquieme and Arte.

Bidding for digital TV broadcasting licenses is due to begin in July, with the switch to digital due to take place by Christmas 2002.

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