France’s FT reports healthy ad total

Total revenue is up 51% on earlier estimates

Smashing forecasts, Gallic pubcaster France Televisions notched up E393 million ($565.8 million) in advertising sales in 2009.

The TV ad trawl is 51% up on France Televisions’ original estimates for 2009 of $374.3 million and is attributed to advertiser and audience loyalty.

According to Mediametrie results, FT channel France 2 recorded an audience share of 16.6% in November, roughly in line with November 2008 while France 3’s share dropped from 13.1% to 11%.

Because of the windfall, France Televisions will receive less from the government top-up fund, designed to compensate the pubcaster after the ban on evening advertising. That sum was cut $50.4 million to $597.4 million in September.

Even so, France Televisions predicts it will break even for 2009 — its budget is reported as $3.5 billion — and will scythe its expected 2010 deficit from $142.4 million to $63.8 million.

The bumper ad results should ease France Televisions’ commitment to maintain its programming budgets for local drama, animation and documentaries.

France Televisions has announced it will cut acquisitions, including foreign movies, and offer early retirement to 900 staffers.

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