Senate says ads on pubcaster to go from January 2016

The French legislature’s upper house, the Senate, has passed an amendment pushing back the removal of daytime advertising from pubcaster France Televisions until January 2016.

The decision contradicts a proposal made by the lower house, the National Assembly, to keep the pubcaster’s ads indefinitely.

The amendment will be debated by the National Assembly before the end of the year.

As part of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to reform public service broadcasting, ads have been banned in primetime on France Televisions since 2009.

The reform called for the full ban to take effect in 2012, but this was subsequently delayed to 2014 and now 2016 due to the parlous state of the French economy.

“The government is too cash-strapped to finance the full needs of a commercial-free public broadcaster,” said Enders Analysis’ Francois Godard. “The government’s priority is to cut the deficit in every possible way.

“Ads are likely to remain on France Televisions after 2016 unless France undergoes strong economic growth by then, which no one forecasts,” he said.

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