BRUSSELS — Plans to remove advertising completely from Gallic pubcaster France Televisions have been delayed by two years.
Advertising after 8 p.m. was removed at the beginning of 2009 under a government initiative to nudge France Televisions toward a purer form of public service broadcasting.
Plan was to remove the remaining advertising by the end of 2011, but culture minister Frederic Mitterrand confirmed Friday that this was being put on hold until the beginning of 2014.
Interviewed on RTL radio, Mitterrand played down the decision. “We always said there would be an interim evaluation, and we’re simply doing that a little earlier than expected.”
Rumors of a delay have circulated in the French press in recent weeks, prompting complaints from commercial webs that the uncertainty is damaging the sector.
“We had to come to a decision so that everyone could get their advertising budgets organized,” Mitterrand said.
Move will increase pressure for changes to the tax on advertising coin that major broadcasters now pay to help make up lost revenue at France Televisions.
Mitterrand said there were no immediate plans to suspend the tax, but that he would meet Friday with the heads of TF1 and M6 to discuss the situation.