Gaul debates pubcast fees

Gov't threatening to make cuts

PARIS — The head of pubcaster France Televisions said Thursday that it needs a hike in TV license fee funding if it is to continue to meet its broadcast commitments.

Marc Tessier’s remarks will spark debate as the government wants to cut the annual fee by 61¢ to $142.30.

Tessier’s comments come after France’s Accounting Court said in its annual report that the future of France Televisions, which includes France 2, France 3, France RFO, was threatened by a lack of funds and an uncertain strategy.

The court said the state must either raise the TV license fee or reduce the scope of the pubcaster’s obligations.

The pubcaster has already cut the number of digital webs it planned to bow when digital terrestrial television comes to Gaul. Report also points to its planned joint venture with TF1 for an international news channel, which, despite government backing, has no financing as yet.

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