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CSA issues warning to M6 about ‘Loft’

Authority asks channel to show 'human respect'

PARIS — The CSA, the French audiovisual authority, has sternly warned private web M6 about controversial new reality show “Loft Story.”

It has cautioned the channel to show “human respect” for the group of twentysomethings locked up in a house together and to “avoid producing a spectacle of excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol and to remain within the law.”

It also criticized the media cross-fertilization that encourages viewers of the daily analog TV show to turn to a pay Internet site or cable TV to watch 24-hour coverage.

There was a wave of publicity after a couple had sex in a swimming pool and it was broadcast on the Internet and cable but not the analog show.

“We’re worried that an analog program can promote the extension of the same program on other paying media,” the CSA said.

The “Loft Story” Web site has been unable to cope with demand for subscriptions. It had 20 million hits in three days compared with a monthly average of 30 million for the entire M6 Web site.

“Loft Story” is Endemol France’s first homegrown reality show. Unlike in “Big Brother,” the public votes out successive male and female participants until only a couple is left. These two must live together for six months in a “dream house” worth 3 million francs ($406,000) to win it.