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Opinion n° 2013-14 of September 11th, 2013 relating to the project of additional clause to contract of objectives and means of the national company of program France Televisions over the period 2013-2015

Publication date: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Official journal of September 17th, 2013, opinion n°2013-14


In accordance with article 43-11 of the law n° 86-1067 of the modified September 30th, 1986 relating to the freedom of communication, the national company of program France Televisions takes care to make with the public a diversified offer of programs in the fields of information, the culture, knowledge, the entertainment and the sport.

The company takes in charge of the public service missions which must contribute to the promotion of the citizenship and the reinforcement of social cohesion. It develops certain elements of programming which distinguish it and which supplement the proposed offer by the companies of audio-visual communication of the private sector.

The specifications of the company France Televisions, annexed with the decree n° 2009-796 of the modified June 23rd, 2009, specify the contents of the various public service missions. The statutory text thus fixes quantitative and qualitative obligations with regard to the nature of the programs and the requirements of contents.

There exist naturally bonds between the obligations posed by the specifications and the commitments outstanding by France Televisions under the Contract of objectives and means (COM). The Council recalled on several occasions the need for a better articulation of these texts. For as much, the object even of the COM is appreciably different.

Article 53 of the law of the modified September 30th, 1986 provides indeed that the COM must allow the State and France Televisions to trace developmental perspectives founded on commitments whose implementation can be measured by indicators and for which the methods of financing are specified.

Pursuant to this article, the objectives which appear in the COM must relate to:
- priority axes of development,
- commitments made under the support for creation,
- commitments made in the field of the accessibility of the programs,
- determination of the estimated cost of the activities supplemented by indicators of results,
- indications relating to the amount of the public resources and the clean receipts,
- axes of improvement of financial management and human resources with an aim of one return to financial balance.

These opinion, adopted by the Council at the conclusion of the plenary session of September 11th, 2013, lies within the scope of the missions which the legislator entrusted to him, in particular with regard to the warranty of the independence and the impartiality of the public sector, improvement of the quality and the diversity of the programs, the development of the production and main roads creation as well as the promotion of the representations of the diversity of the French company.

The relative bill with the independence of the audio-visual public plans to reinforce this competence while making it possible the Council to return each year an opinion on the report of execution of the COM of France Televisions.

The Government transmitted to the Council, on August 8th, 2013, a project of endorsement which partly modifies the COM concluded on November 22nd, 2011 over the period 2011-2015.

The project of endorsement reveals a business plan re-examined downwards which must lead the public group to propose a reduction of certain stations of cost.

The initial COM had envisaged a rise in charge of the public resources until 2015 correspondent with an average increase of 2% to a year reach 2,687 million euros. The project of endorsement envisages on the contrary, starting from 2013, an average reduction in the public envelope of 0,5% a year. For this only year, the reduction can be estimated at 26 million euros compared to the equipments obtained in 2012.

According to the forecasts of the project of endorsement, the public resources would represent approximately 2,485 million euros by 2015, that is to say a reduction of more than 200 million euros compared to the initial COM.

The advertising revenues were estimated at 450 million in 2015. The degradation of the forecasts encourages today to retain a more modest assumption for a full amount of approximately 354 million. The reduction would thus relate to a sum of almost 100 million euros in 2015.

In the same way, operational results (management of rights, advertising agency…) estimated at 58 million in the projected budget of the COM for 2015 were brought back to 20 million in the project of endorsement. Depreciation represents nearly 40 million euros.

Within sight of these indications, the reduction in the estimated resources of France Televisions corresponds to an amount of approximately 340 million euros by 2015 (- 10,5% compared to the initial COM). This reduction could be brought back to 320 million euros if, as France Televisions considers it, the market of publicity knew a marked improvement starting from 2014.

These evolutions result in revising the general stability of the COM over the period 2013-2015.

The budgetary and economic prospects in which France Televisions locates from now on its development impose important constraints that the Council is not unaware of.

The opinion given by the Council takes account of the data elements carried to its knowledge by the President of France Televisions during its hearing on September 11th, 2013.

It will relate initially to the progress made by the project of endorsement per comparison with the initial COM (I). The fields in which retreats can be identified will be then the object of a critical examination (II). Lastly, the points which remain to be cleared up before the definitive adoption of the endorsement could be examined (III). When that is necessary, the Council took care to make recommendations which are gathered at the end of this document.

 

I – IMPROVEMENTS TO BE SPECIFIED AND CONFIRM

In several sectors the project of endorsement with the COM makes it possible to improve diversity and quality of the offer of program.

In addition, the commitments outstanding between the State and France Televisions present notable projections to improve operation of the public group and its mode of governance.

With – programming

Article 43-11 of the law of September 30th, 1986 lays out in particular that the national company of program France Televisions continues, “in the general interest, of the public service missions”.

For this purpose, the company takes care to make a diversified offer which understands in particular programs of information. The company France Televisions also has to develop new services likely to enrich and supplement the offer of programs.

The project of endorsement treats these fields particularly and insists on the coordination of the various draftings of information like on the development of the new services.

1 – Progress in implementation the effective of the coordination of the draftings

The place granted by the public group to information is without equivalent in terms of time volume and variety of the formats. Implementation the effective of the actions of coordination of the human and technical means devoted to the offer of information with an aim of improving quality of service and economic efficiency was expected.

The Council notes with satisfaction that the processes of dematerialization of the production line of information will be deployed and operational at the end of the year 2013 in accordance with the project “ i-nat ”. The data could consequently be shared between the draftings national and put at the disposal of public on all the supports.

The efforts carried out for the coordination of average the techniques must now be continued with regard to the draftings. The project of COM is insufficiently precise as regards project “ Information 2015 ” which must “ gather the forces of the draftings around (...) a single drafting ”. It should more specify the stages of realization by 2015 and synergies and economies expected.

Recommendation n° 1: To specify the details of implementation of the project “Information 2015” by detailing the expected economies, staffs concerned and the calendar of the reform.

2 – The development of the offer of new digital services

The development of the service offering digital is a strategic priority for France Televisions which seeks to decline its programs on Internet, to develop services on the new supports (mobile, shelves) and to prepare the rise of connected televisions. The objective must be “ to supplement the televisual experiment of the public (...), to widen the exposure of the contents (...) and to clarify the strong brands of France Televisions ”.

During the period 2011-2013, the public group thus launched four platforms of on-line services. They propose contents which relate to:
- information (francetv information),
- the sport (francetv sport),
- the education (francetv education, which succeeds Curiosphère),
- the culture (culturebox).

A fifth platform dedicated to the children must supplement this offer. She will make an ludo-educational offer bound for less than 7 years and an offer diverting for the 7-12 years.

Whereas the consumption of programs develops on other screens that the only television set, it is essential that France Televisions marks its presence by offering various on-line services. The continuum which is created between the televisual program and its variations online must undoubtedly be reinforced just as the interaction with the public.

The development of the new services seems an answer adapted of the public group to the evolution of the uses. It is the case for example service francetv information which proposes a wire of news starting from contents brought up to date permanently. The creation of on-line services in addition contributes to improve the exposure of the contents by developing know-how and the brand France Televisions.

The Council points out however that the obligations of programming which weigh on the antennas of France Televisions should not be the object of a progressive transfer on on-line services.

The Council wishes moreover that clarifications be brought with regard to the development costs of the various platforms. It also observes that to facilitate the navigation of the public between the many on-line services of France Televisions, the company must take care of the fluidity of its offer by allowing the circulation of one service the other.

Recommendation n° 2: To indicate the development cost of on-line services. To facilitate the navigation of the public and to simplify its access to the delinearized offers of France Televisions.

With regard to the television of correction, the project of endorsement indicates that the portal francetvpluzz was remelted in order to make available, starting from the same site, the whole of the programs of the chains of the group (except cinema and sport). This objective, mentioned in the initial COM, was carried out. It would be advisable to bring up to date consequently the project of endorsement (1).

To measure the number of monthly unique visitors on the websites of France Televisions, the indicator set up in the initial COM is preserved. It makes it possible to note that the effective frequentation was more important in 2012 than that which had been considered (nearly a million additional unique visitors).

The project of endorsement consequently envisages an objective for 2013 more ambitious than that fixed in 2011 (9, 2 million visitors instead of the 8.7 million in the initial COM). It should be noted that it is the only quantitative objective re-examined upwards in this project of COM in 2013. It would be desirable that this effort is continued over the two following years.

Lastly, in the field of connected television, the project of endorsement evokes the “ first successful experiences ” of France Televisions while bringing few modifications compared to the initial drafting.

Recommendation n° 3: To give new more ambitious objectives concerning the digital offer which take account of the already got results.

3 – Reinforcement of female expert testimony to the antenna

In accordance with the provisions of its specifications, the company France Televisions has “ to promote the great values which constitute the base of our company ”. The principle of equality, the fight against the stereotypes and the forms of discrimination must lead the public group to improve the direction which is given to the presence of the women to the antenna.

The Council notices with satisfaction that the project of endorsement sets the objective of a presence to a total value of 30% by 2014 of the invested female personalities of a role of expert in the emissions, in particular of debate and information (2).

The voluntarism of France Televisions lies within the scope of the initiatives installation by the Council aiming at improving the image of the women in the media and to better qualifying their presence with the antenna (3). The Council will be vigilant on the implementation of these provisions within the framework of competences which should be to him given by the law.

The improvement of the representation of the women also passes by the exposure of the female sport and co-education in practice sporting. The consulting ones and the expert ones have to present their analyses at the time of the sporting retransmissions and the diffusion of the magazines. An indicator measuring perception by the public of the image of the women in the programs of France Televisions was thus set up.

Lastly, the Council stresses that the whole of the kinds of programs suggested must contribute to improve the place of the women on the antennas of the public group.

B – the company

The Council does not intend to be involved in the operation and the management of France Televisions. For as much, the legislator entrusted the mission to him of guaranteeing independence and the impartiality of the public sector of the audio-visual communication and the Government transmitted the project of endorsement to him to the COM which mentions several commitments relating to the internal organization of the public group.

Following the example of the other companies and public agencies, the mode of governance of France Televisions gradually evolved. The principle of equality, the search for creativity and the catch in consideration of new requirements carried by the company result in setting new objectives with regard to the place of the women and the representation of the diversity of the French company.

1 – Significant progresses as regards parity

The agreement on the professional equality between the men and the women signed in July 2007 by the representatives of France Televisions set several objectives in order to correct noted imbalances. The project of endorsement specifies today that the commitments of the group will relate to the reinforcement of the co-education of the trades, the progression of the women in the framing and the requirement for wage equality.

The Council notes that precise objectives are advanced. It is indicated that France Televisions will present by 2013 at least a female candidature for each station to responsibility in order to guarantee the parity in fillings of station. The company will also take care that the share of the women charged with the framing of the journalists represents a third of the hierarchy in 2015.

The Council with satisfaction accommodates the whole of these commitments and will be particularly interested in their implementation.

2 – A better representation of the diversity of the French company

The project of endorsement with the COM is fixed like objective to better take into account diversity within the public group. The translation of this objective out of quantified indicators would make it possible to guarantee an effective progression.

The place of the handicapped collaborators is re-examined, on the one hand, through the procedures which are installation with an aim of obtaining the Label Diversity before the end of the end of the year 2013 and, on the other hand, through the commitments outstanding within the framework of a new convention concluded in January 2011 with Association from management from the funds for professional insertion from the handicapped people (AGEFIPH).

A new indicator provides that France Televisions must reach a rate of indirect employment (4) of handicapped staffs of 0.5%. This precision leads the Council to require an extra effort so that France Televisions increases its rate of direct use which is today of 4% (5).

Diversity also takes into account the situation of the older wage earners of more than 55 years. The employment of the seniors must thus reach a proportion of 20% of manpower. A population pyramid of staffs of France Televisions would make it possible to better appreciate this commitment.

Recommendation n° 4: To set an objective in terms of direct use of staffs in situation of handicap. To communicate the share represented by staffs of more than 55 years in order to measuring the relevance of the commitment aiming so that they account for 20% of manpower.

The public group also has to contribute, worthy of its means, with the professional insertion of the young people. As a company of audio-visual communication, the reception of the young people falls under a approach of education to the media so that the trainees reach the techniques which contribute to the collection and the information analysis.

The mention of a new commitment relating to the annual reception in training course of twenty young students stock exchange or resulting from disadvantaged urban areas can contribute to better taking into account social and cultural diversity while offering professional prospects.

However, taking into consideration manpower of France Televisions and its 38 antennas, in particular in areas, the objective appears badly definite and far from ambitious.

Recommendation n° 5: To reinforce the partnerships of France Televisions with the school and university structures, including in areas, by increasing the number of trainees likely to be accommodated in the company.

 

II – INSUFFICIENCIES RELATED TO ADJUSTMENTS DOWNWARDS

The reduction in the estimated resources available forces France Televisions to reduce the loads of the company.

Several commitments of France Televisions are consequently re-examined downwards. These retreats are however not always related to a reduction in the resources. Moreover, the constrained budgetary framework can be an opportunity for the public group in order to carry out the profits of effectiveness which are expected.

The retreats compared to the previous commitments relate at the same time on the elements of the programming and certain evolutions of the characteristics of the company.

With – programming

Cost cutting weighs primarily on the program timetable insofar as it represents more than 80% of the operational loads.

The cost of grid represents the costs authorized by the editor to work out his programming according to the leading choices which he wants to present. The project of endorsement specifies that the cost of grid of France Televisions should be reduced a year 1%. The most significant reductions relate on the cost of the national plan (- 1,4%) and to a cost cutting of acquisition and production, in particular, with regard to the retransmission of the sporting events (- 5,4%).

The initial COM envisaged to reach in 2015 a cost of grid of 2,306 million. It is brought back today to 2 049.4 million, that is to say a fall of 256.6 million euros (- 11%). It is expected that the share of the cost of grid remains higher or equal to 81% of the total expenditure of France Televisions, except costs of diffusion. It was of 82,2% in 2012.

Faithful to its mission of taking care of the requirement of quality and innovation of the public service, the Council would wish that the criteria leading to the suppression of such or such emission be better defined.

Compared to the initial COM, the serious difficulties relate to the investments in the field of the production, the volume of the regional programs and the diffusion in high definition.

1 – A reduction of the investments in the production

The amount of the investments in the film production and audio-visual European or of French original expression is the object of a significant decrease.

  • Audiovisual production

The annual minimal investment in audio-visual works should be brought back to 400 million over the period 2013-2015 instead of the 420 million envisaged starting from 2012 in the initial COM (6). The shortfall for the sector could consequently represent 60 million euros in cumulated by 2015.

The reduction in this threshold does not give however causes of it the obligation fixed in the specifications to hold 20% of the turnover Net of the preceding exercise to the development of the production of audio-visual works (7).

  • Film production

The investment in the financing of French and European cinematographic creation is also decreased in the project of endorsement starting from 2013. The minimal level from now on is fixed at 57 million instead of the 60 million euros which appeared in the initial COM. The loss for the sector is likely to represent 9 million euros in cumulated by 2015.

However, the reduction of this amount does not carry not reached to the obligation to devote at least 3,5% of the turnover Net of the preceding exercise to the development of the film production (8).

The Council takes note of these reductions imposed by the fall of the resources but he recalls his attachment to the maintenance of the rates of contribution fixed in the specifications of France Televisions.

It considers it however necessary to arrange easings to make it possible the public group to optimize its commitments in audio-visual creation. Thus, within the framework of a necessary interprofessional negotiation with which the whole of the recipients will have to be associated, the faculty of detention of shares of co-producers and an evolution of the mode of the rights could be examined.

2 – A reduction in the volume of the regional programs in contradiction with the objective of proximity displayed

The indicator concerning the share of the regional offer in the grid of France 3 (local information, documentary and magazines devoted on a tour of territory) was appreciably re-examined downwards while at the same time France 3 is defined as the chain of the areas and the proximity.

  • A reduction in the diffusion of the regional programs

The project of endorsement provides that the volume of diffusion of regional programs on the 23 local antennas of France 3 (9) will on the whole reach 17,000 hours instead of the 20,000 hours determined initially for the year 2015 in COM.

This reduction must make it possible to contain the trend of the cost of the regional program in the total cost of grid of France Televisions. It should reach 18,5% by 2015. The economies generated by the reduction in the volume of the regional programs are however not quantified. The Council intends to recall that the efforts of rationalization must also relate to the organization of the means put at the disposal of regional offices of France 3.

Same manner, as regards nine stations of Overseas the 1st share of the programs which do not come from the other chains of France Televisions is brought back to 75% of the total volume of the programs instead of the 80% which appeared in the COM under the objectives for the year 2015.

So the share of the programs of France Televisions could not exceed 20% in the initial COM. This share could from now on reach up to 25% of the total volume of the programs of the stations of the network Overseas 1st.

The Council raises the contradiction which exists between the will displayed to reduce on the antenna of the stations of Overseas the 1st share of the national plans resulting from France Televisions while deciding, by the effect of a lowering of the threshold of the special programs with 75%, to increase the proportion potentially by it.

  • A fall of the local production of the programs in Overseas

Whereas 25% of the volume of diffusion were to correspond, by 2015, to programs produced locally, the objective exposed in the project of endorsement reduces this proportion to 20%. The revision downwards of this objective can be explained by the need for containing the increase in the cost of the grid of the programmes of Overseas 1st in the total cost of grid of France Televisions. It should reach 9,5% by 2015.

The Superior council of audio-visual however makes a point of stressing the importance of the role assigned with the chains of the network Overseas 1st with regard to the promotion of the regional identity, the expression of the languages and the territories and the development of the local production.

3 – Reconsideration of objectives which relate to the high definition

The initial objective of an integral diffusion of France 2 in high definition at the limit 2015 is preserved. For as much, this commitment seems difficult to reach taking into account the delay taken for the renewal of the equipment of the chain.

Indeed, only 60% of the programs of France 2 are diffused in high definition. Insofar as the Council, in the capacity as assignee of the hertzian frequencies (10), allowed the chain to have the hertzian resource necessary, it wishes that France 2 accelerate the diffusion, in real high definition, of the whole of its programs.

The Council observes that the objective to diffuse France 5 in high definition is removed. In this context, the project of endorsement does not consider any diffusion with the standards of the high definition for other chains of the group.

The Council points out that the public channels have authority to evolve to the high definition in comparison of the offer of programs (cinema, sport, documentary) and with the general objective of quality and innovation of public television (11).

Recommendation n° 6: To establish a calendar for the deployment of the equipment necessary to the integral diffusion in real high definition of the programs of France 2 and other public channels.

 

B – the company

The company France Televisions did not manage sufficiently to develop the programs which she proposed starting from the departments of communication with the public online that she publishes.

The development of the company could also be braked because of the delays accumulated by the building site of the convergence of the information systems.

1 – Lack of ambition of the diversification and the development of the digital receipts

For better ensuring the commercial valorization of its programs, the public group is pressed on its subsidiary France Televisions Publicity in order to develop the advertising revenues sat on the digital offers.

The development of receipts must be a priority, in particular to facilitate the return to the balance of the accounts of the company.

The initial COM provided that the corresponding resources would be tripled to pass from 7 million to 25 million euros a year in 2015. Today, the project of endorsement displays a reduced ambition by maintaining the objective, not quantified, of growth of the advertising resources generated by the digital supports.

Another subsidiary, France Televisions Distribution, are in particular charged to develop the service offering of video on demand (with the act or by subscription), to develop the brands of the group and to increase the incomes drawn from the services put online by France Televisions. Its results are in Net retreat compared to the forecasts. Indeed, the objective of 3.7 million euros in 2015 was tiny room in the project of endorsement with the COM with 1 million euros.

These retreats can be explained by the difficult economic context which in particular involved a decrease in the demand of the advertisers.

Among the other aims of France Televisions Distribution is reproduced the development on the international market of the rights related to the audiovisual programmes of the group and in particular of its youth offer. Beyond, it is a question for France Televisions of reinforcing and of developing the existing framework agreements to facilitate the coproductions and the joint purchases of programs.

In this field, the Council regrets disappearance in the project of endorsement of the relative indicators, on the one hand, with the annual number of programs being given an international financing and, on the other hand, with the annual number of framework agreements concluded with foreign diffusers.

The Council wishes that France Televisions have new ambitions for diversification and the development of its receipts.

Recommendation n° 7: To supplement the project of endorsement by target in precise figures in order to specify the amount of the receipts drawn from the diversification of the commercial offers. To reinstate the indicators relating to the international financing of the programs and the conclusion of framework agreements.

2 – Delays in the harmonization of the information systems for the business management

Since 2009, France Televisions engaged a plan aiming at ensuring the convergence of its various information systems.

It is about a strategic priority for the development of the company. The challenges relate to the capacity of France Televisions to make a success of the installation of the common tools for management to have analytical and countable information reliable. These data are essential to manage to control the joint undertaking in particular to carry out profits of effectiveness and to improve the productivity.

The building sites engaged for 4 years have been rather heavy since it is necessary to take account of the practices and the divergent solutions which existed in the chains and the subsidiaries. For as much, the Council considers it regrettable that the convergence of the information systems is still delayed, at the end of the project of endorsement with the COM, of approximately a year.

Recommendation n° 8: To mobilize means within the framework of a precise timetable to accelerate the essential convergence of the information systems for the business management.

 

III – UNCERTAINTIES

The project of endorsement with the COM seems to call into question several commitments of France Televisions. The new drafting leads the Council to wonder about the evolution of the programming of France Televisions.

In addition, the prospects traced by the public group with regard to the productivity gains and their effects on the wage bill and manpower call for more greater detail.

With – programming

The modifications made in the description of the leading lines of the chains introduce elements of confusion to determine their exact vocation and, in certain cases, the good articulation with the comparable provisions of the specifications of France Televisions.

Uncertainties also relate to the cultural ambition of the public group, in particular with regard to the place granted to the music on the antennas. The accessibility of the programs must still be improved to be wide with the offers of correction. Lastly, interrogations remain about the cover of certain sporting meetings.

1 – Leading lines to specify

As of the introduction of the text project, it is indicated that “ public television must develop, over the period of this endorsement, of the chains to the personalities more clearly identified and complementary ”. This postulate does not call into question the current characteristics of the programming of France 2, France 3, France 5 and the chains of the network Overseas 1st.

The Council regrets the vague formulations and the declarations of intents which are however presented like “ strategic priorities ”. Thus, France 2 must it “ be resolutely of its time; to reinforce the leading requirement; to show audacity “… France 3, as for it, commits itself “ privileging a positive and benevolent approach; to develop within its programs the values of proximity and division “… It is also mentioned, as regards the writing of the fictions, the importance of a “ solved exploration of more varied reports to reality ”.

Programming of France Ô, from which it is envisaged “ to affirm its statute of national chain except for whole ”, should result in more emphasizing the departments, the regions and the territories of overseas through information, the fiction and the cinema, the documentary ones, the cultural programs, the sports and the Entertainment. Its vocation tending to better making known the overseas by allowing a relationship to the hexagon and an opening on the world is more specified.

The Council regrets nevertheless that the project of endorsement remains dumb on the methods and, if necessary, the setting places indicators allowing to measure the audience of the chain.

The leading line of France 4 is announced like appealing important modifications.

The text project indicates that France 4 will address itself henceforth to the new generations, “ of the children, small and large, with the young adults ”. The chain must constitute “ an alternative of public service with offers DVB ” and a “ laboratory within the bouquet France Televisions ”. The essential innovation comes from the reference to “ the information ” presented like a new orientation of the chain.

Contours of the leading line of France 4 remain nevertheless rather vague and a clarification appears necessary.

The situation of France 3 remains dubious so much so that the Minister for the Culture and of the Communication the constitution of one working group to the autumn announced to define a new organization of the chain.

Taking into account these evolutions, it will be advisable to wonder about the coherence of the objectives posed in the project of endorsement and the characteristics of the leading lines which are fixed in the specifications (12).

Recommendation n° 9: To clarify the leading line of France 4. To indicate the objectives of the future reform of France 3. To set up methods of measurement of the audience of France Ô.

2 – Insufficient matter objectives cultural and vague out of musical matter

The presence of at least a cultural program every evening in first part of evening on one of the chains of the public group is a requirement maintained in the project of endorsement. It is one of the emblematic indicators of France Televisions which also corresponds to the obligation prescribed by its specifications (13).

However, this objective could be more ambitious taking into account the fact that France Televisions already largely exceeds the objective of 365 cultural programs a year and than the launching of France Ô in 2011 makes it possible the public group to have an additional antenna.

At the time of the opinion given on the project of COM over the period 2011-2015, the Council proposed to set this objective at more than 450 programs a year (14), in order to take account of the widening of the perimeter of the public group with the national diffusion of France Ô.

Among the kinds which integrate the perimeter of the cultural programs, the emissions in musical matter traditionally are the object of a particular mention. The objective consists in increasing their time volume and with better exposing the new talents.

The Council underlines at this stage that the reference to the “emissions containing of the music” appears less demanding than the expression “emissions in musical matter” which is that retained by the specifications of France Televisions (15). In a preoccupation with a coherence with the regulations, the Council wishes that the expression retained in the specifications be also that employed in the project of endorsement.

That being, the commitment of France Televisions in this field is not appreciably modified. The Council notes however that the objective – which appeared in the initial COM – to at prime time diffuse a one 52 minutes duration musical program disappeared.

Recommendation n° 10: To bring up to date the number of cultural programs available per day in first part of evening, while changing it to 450 a year. To at prime time restore the commitment relating to the diffusion of an emission in 52 minutes musical matter. To replace the terms “emissions containing of the music” by the terms “emissions in musical matter”.

3 – Gaps of France Ô as regards accessibility of the programs

It is indicated that France Televisions subtitles the whole of its national plans (subject to the characteristics of certain programs, in particular live retransmissions). The assertion is however inaccurate in the case of France Ô whose share of the subtitled emissions represents less than 50% of the program. It is however obvious that the chain cannot remain durably away from the subtitling of the programs.

With regard to audio description, the prospects traced by the initial COM were carried out. From now on France 2, France 3, France 4 and France 5 propose described audio programs. The objective of the indicator aiming at ensuring the diffusion of two programs of this type each day on the antennas of France Televisions (16) by 2015 is maintained.

The project of endorsement adds that France Televisions seeks to put at the disposal of people malvoyantes or blind men an offer of audio programs described on its service of correction pluzz.fr.

Recommendation n° 11: Under titrating the whole of the programs of France Ô in accordance with article 53 of the law of the modified September 30th, 1986 relating to the freedom of communication. The ambition to propose to the blind people or malvoyantes an offer of programs in correction could be done by stage by establishing a calendar and while beginning on a proportion of programs.

4 – Concerns on the sport

The project of endorsement maintains the objective consisting in proposing very a large range of sporting disciplines. France Televisions commits itself maintaining this cover. The thresholds minima envisaged concerning the retransmissions and the treatment of the disciplines remain unchanged compared to the initial COM (17).

For as much, the sport is directly concerned with the budgetary efforts requested from France Televisions since the project of endorsement plans to reduce the related expenditure of 21 million euros between 2013 and 2015. The Council will remain attentive so that the public group can continue to propose an access in light to the sports events in a context marked by the arrival of new editors and the acquisition of certain rights of diffusion of sporting events by paying chains.

The promotion of the female sport remains an objective for the public group. It should be noted that the project of endorsement adds the need for emphasizing “the practice handisport” which was not mentioned before.

Recommendation n° 12: To set up indicators intended to measure the cover granted to the female sport and the practice handisport (information processing and retransmission of the sporting meetings).

B – the company

The installation of the joint undertaking was delayed on several occasions taking into account, in particular, of the difficulties encountered by France Televisions to try to melt within a single framework the very disparate social agreements which prevailed according to the chains and the sectors.

The conclusion of the collective agreement of France Televisions in May 2013 must make it possible from now on to accelerate the modernization process of the company and to engage truly the mutualisation of the human and material means.

The means released by the redeployments should be reinvested in the offer of programs of the various chains. However, the plan of business of France Televisions lays down a fall of the cost of grid of 1% a year on average at the limit 2015 which is not accompanied by a comparable fall of the staff costs.

Uncertainties still remain with regard to the evolution of manpower. The total number of employees, reported in equivalent full-time, is likely to vary by 2015 according to the reference documents and the method of accounting.

1 – Staff costs insufficiently contained

Apart from the cost which the plan of voluntary departures represents, which is estimated in the budget 2013 at more than 89 million euros, the staff costs represent an important station of costs. Precise details on the foreseeable costs for the later years would be welcome.

According to a new indicator, the share of the staff costs of France Televisions would account for over the period 2013-2015 approximately 36% of the operational loads (except cost of diffusion). This proportion appears however comparable with that of 35,8% which had been noted in 2012.

Under these conditions, the effort of reduction of the staff costs seems insufficient. It corresponds to an average reduction in 0,6% a year. The Council notes that it is less than that applied to the cost of grid (1% a year).

Recommendation n° 13: To define a reduction objective of the staff costs more refined. To specify the share of the staff costs in the business plan of France Televisions and to operate a breakdown by chain.

2 – Need for clarifying manpower of the group

The implementation of the joint undertaking calls an overall reflection on the mutualisation of the means and the services. For this reason, the initial COM envisaged the accompaniment of a movement of natural departure of several collaborators. The initial objective was of 900 departures at the end of the year 2012. This figure did not exceed 500 actually.

At the limit 2015, the project of endorsement announces that manpower will be reduced of 650 equivalents full-time (ETP). The integration of the volume of nonpermanent employment in the final calculation of the ETP however introduces elements of uncertainty on the real global manpower of France Televisions.

The Council considers it regrettable that the figures concerning manpower of the company differ according to the transmitted documents.

While referring to the only figures presented in the project of endorsement, it appears that according to the method adopted for the calculation amongst employees, the global manpower of France Televisions would relate either to a number of 9,750 ETP, or on a number of 10,113 ETP at the limit 2015.

The figure of 10,113 would be explained by the need for revising the volume of nonpermanent employment upwards what would involve an increase amongst ETP mechanically. The unification of the methods of calculation leads France Televisions indeed to reinstate a large volume of nonpermanent employment representing at least 400 ETP (18).

The Council which was recipient of multiple data of which it could not release the agreement hopes sincerely that the whole of the data be backed up and are presented in a completely homogeneous way in the final endorsement to COM.

The reduction in the ETP must be the consequence of the synergies carried out by the company. The productivity gains could be identified and to cause indications chains by chain.

In addition, in a difficult social context, it would be desirable to increase the transparency of remunerations, including for highest.

Moreover, the reduction of manpower must result in the reduction in the recourse to nonpermanent employment. However, the effort announced by France Televisions relating to a reduction of 18% to 15% of the rate of nonpermanent employment remains unchanged compared to the initial COM.

Recommendation n° 14: To clarify the figures concerning the ETP, to specify the categories of employment to which they are attached and to break down the objectives chain by chain. To improve the transparency with regard to remunerations.

 

List of the 14 recommendations

Programs

  • To specify the details of implementation of the project “Information 2015” by detailing the expected economies, staffs concerned and the calendar of the reform. (Recommendation n° 1);
  • To indicate the development cost of on-line services. To facilitate the navigation of the public and to simplify its access to the delinearized offers of France Televisions (Recommendation n° 2);
  • To give new more ambitious objectives concerning the digital offer which take account of the already got results (Recommendation n° 3);
  • To establish a calendar for the deployment of the equipment necessary to the integral diffusion in real high definition of the programs of France 2 and other public channels (Recommendation n° 6);
  • To clarify the leading line of France 4. To indicate the objectives of the future reform of France 3. To set up methods of measurement of the audience of France Ô (Recommendation n° 9);
  • To bring up to date the number of cultural programs available per day in first part of evening, while changing it to 450 a year. To at prime time restore the commitment relating to the diffusion of an emission in 52 minutes musical matter. To replace the terms “emissions containing of the music” by the terms “emissions in musical matter” (Recommendation n° 10);
  • Under titrating the whole of the programs of France Ô by 2015. The ambition to propose to the blind people or malvoyantes an offer of programs in correction could be done by stage by establishing a calendar and while beginning on a proportion of programs (Recommendation n° 11);
  • To set up indicators intended to measure the cover granted to the female sport and the practice handisport (information processing and retransmission of the sporting meetings) (Recommendation n° 12).

The company

  • To set an objective in terms of direct use of staffs in situation of handicap. To communicate the share represented by staffs of more than 55 years in order to measuring the relevance of the commitment aiming so that they account for 20% of manpower (Recommendation n° 4);
  • To reinforce the partnerships of France Televisions with the school and university structures, including in areas, by increasing the number of trainees likely to be accommodated in the company (Recommendation n° 5);
  • To supplement the project of endorsement by target in precise figures in order to specify the amount of the receipts drawn from the diversification of the commercial offers. To reinstate the indicators relating to the international financing of the programs and the conclusion of framework agreements (Recommendation n° 7);
  • To mobilize means within the framework of a precise timetable to accelerate the essential convergence of the information systems for the business management (Recommendation n° 8);
  • To define a reduction objective of the staff costs more refined. To specify the share of the staff costs in the business plan of France Televisions and to operate a breakdown by chain (Recommendation n° 13);
  • To clarify the figures concerning the ETP, to specify the categories of employment to which they are attached and to break down the objectives chain by and to improve the transparency with regard to remunerations (Recommendation n° 14).

These opinion will be published in the Journal officiel de la République française.

Fact in Paris, on September 11th, 2013

For the Superior council of the audio-visual one:
The president,
O. SCHRAMECK

 

(1) It corresponds moreover to the obligation fixed by article 48 of the law of September 30th, 1986 and to article 22 of the specifications of France Televisions.
(2) This proportion was approximately 18% in 2011.
(3) Works are currently undertaken by Women's right working group the “” in order to take readings and to establish a methodology to quantify and qualify the female presence on the antennas.
(4) This rate measures the recourse to subcontracting which calls upon handicapped staffs.
(5) According to the AGEFIPH, the rate of employment of the people in situation of handicap was of 3,67% in the group France Televisions in 2011.
(6) The investment indeed carried out in 2012 represented 420.4 million euros.
(7) Article 9 IV of the specifications of France Televisions.
(8) Article 9 II of the specifications of France Televisions.
(9) The regional chain Via Stella diffused in Corsica by terrestrial hertzian way since January 2011 is not taken into account.
(10) Article 21 of the law of September 30th, 1986.
(11) Article 43-11 of the law of September 30th, 1986.
(12) Article 3 of the specifications of France Televisions.
(13) Article 4 of the specifications specifies indeed that “ France Televisions diffuses nationally at least a cultural program each day in first part of evening (...)”.
(14) Opinion n° 2011-16 of October 4th, 2011 relative to a draft contract of objectives and means of the national company of program France Televisions over the period 2011-2015.
(15) Article 5 of the specifications of France Televisions.
(16) I.e. an annual objective of 730 programs audiodécrits.
(17) For the years 2011 and 2012, these thresholds all were exceeded.
(18) Cf the text of the project of endorsement, p. 60.

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Key dates

  • 2006 - Law of March 31st, 2006 known as “law for the equal opportunity”

  • 2007 - Creation by the Council of a working group on diversity and an Observatory of diversity

  • 2009 - Law of March 5th, 2009 relating to the audio-visual communication and the new public service of television

  • March 11th, 2008 - Creation of the Observatory of diversity in the audio-visual mediums

  • November 10th, 2009 - Deliberation of the Council fixing the framework of annual commitments of the diffusers