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No Longer a Monopoly, French TV Is Uneasy Mix of Public and Private
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Sep 1, 1986
Start Page: 12
Section: 1; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

[Francois Mitterrand] finally broke the government monopoly at the end of last year-just a few months before his Socialist Party lost control of the National Assembly to [Jacques Chirac] and other conservatives-by awarding contracts to private companies to create two new channels, one for rock music, the other for regular programming.

Many leftists suspect that the main purchaser of TF1 will be Robert Hersant, the controversial and conservative publisher and member of Parliament who controls almost 30% of the press of France, including France-Soir, the Paris newspaper with the largest circulation, and Le Figaro, the country's most influential right-wing newspaper.

The Chirac government is going ahead with the ambitious plans of previous governments to provide cable access to half the homes in France by the year 2000 with optical fiber at a cost of $6 billion and to launch a satellite that could telecast five channels throughout Europe. If successful, these programs would probably change the face of French television far more than the recent break in the government monopoly and the impending sale of TF1.

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