Commercial network TF1 has put a €12 million value on ins 50% stake in the Francophone news channel France 24, valuing the operation at €24 million. A source told Le Figaro that the company had paid just a few thousand Euro for the channel that has been on the air for just a year, broadcasting in French, English and Arabic.
France 24 is regarded with envious eyes by its fellow international broadcasters with suggestions that the French government might seek to merge it with the more generalist TV5 Monde.
The French government owns 66% of TV and provides 85% of its funding. However, the smaller French-speaking countries, including Belgium, Canada and Switzerland that comprise TV5’s other shareholders are already up in arms over what they see as the French domination of the channel.
Following a meeting in Lucerne on Friday a representative of the Swiss delegation declared that TV5 had been saved, but a French government official said a merger was still on the cards, and has proposed an increase in the amount of France 24 content on TV5 that already takes much of its output from the French networks.