TV5 plans worry foreign officials

Members meet to form response

Ministers from the French-speaking partners of TV5 Monde met Friday in Lucerne, Switzerland, to coordinate a response to recent French government proposals to consolidate public funding of broadcasting to foreign markets.

The French government will begin hearings next week on changing the current organizational structures of French all-news network France 24 and Radio France Intl., and will review its annual $103 million contribution to TV5 Monde. The Culture Ministry has expressed support for putting more France 24 content on TV5 Monde, as well as other changes to the multinational network.

Government representatives from Canada, Quebec, Switzerland and the French-speaking communities of Belgium are concerned that TV5 Monde, the fourth-largest television network available globally, and which obtains most of its content from mainstream networks in French-speaking countries, would become too dominated by Paris .

The director of the Swiss Federal Office of Communication said “small countries fear that their presence at the network is dropping.”

The Minister of Culture and Audiovisual Affairs of the French Community of Belgium saw Paris’ attempts to transform TV5 as “essentially an instrument for international influence by France.”

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