Youth focussed channel France 4 has been granted a one year reprieve by the French government.
The public broadcaster was expected to close on Sunday August 9, but will now remain on-air for another 12 months. However, new culture minister Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin still intends to close France Ô, on August 23, only two weeks later than expected.
The move first announced in June 2018 is part of a plan to save France Télévisions €160 million by 2022. However, while the ultimate plan to close the channel remains, its purpose during lockdown has convinced officials to grant it a stay of execution.
“France 4 has proven to be an essential instrument to support educational continuity in this particular period,” the ministry said in a statement. “In a health context which remains uncertain, the temporary postponement of the closure of a chain with programs intended for young people and which can serve as additional educational relay, appears desirable” .
As with so many markets, France Télévisions faces the challenge of attracting and maintaining an audience that has grown up with on demand. Last December it launched Okoo, a children’s on demand platform targeting children aged 3 to 12 years old.
The decision to close France Ô, an overseas channel broadcast in mainland France, is not surprising. Its shows will be split between the broadcaster’s other networks.