French Public Broadcaster to Keep Evening Advertising

Additional planned ad cuts for France Televisions were deemed too risky to the stations' financial health.

PARIS -- France Televisions will get to keep advertising during its evening hours, helping to prop up the imperiled public network that has suffered since advertising was removed from primetime hours after 8 p.m. in 2009.

The pubweb has been in financial trouble since former president Nicolas Sarkozy took ads off the airwaves in an effort to increase quality programming five years ago, and evening advertising slots were slated to be slashed even further on Jan. 1, 2016. This time, commercial space from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. was on the table. In a vote Wednesday, the National Assembly deemed any further removal of advertising would be "unsafe" for the stations' finances.

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Already hurting from the double blows of ad losses and deep public financing cuts, the removal of two more ad-ready hours was deemed too risky by lawmakers. The stations have already canceled several long-running and popular programs, are in the middle of whittling down their workforce and are looking for more savings in an effort to return to financial stability by 2015.  

France Televisions president Remy Pflimlin is still pushing to have ads returned after 8 p.m. Culture minister Aurelie Filippetti has been very resistant to the idea, though she has said the government is examining other solutions, including possibly blocks of single-sponsor advertising.