13 Dec 2008

Lower house votes to end state TV ads

9:35 am on 13 December 2008

Deputies in the lower house of parliament in France have voted to end advertising on state television.

National Assembly deputies voted 30-18 on Friday to scrap advertising on the four main state television channels from the end of 2011 and to allow it only before 8pm in the meantime.

The move will create a funding gap that will be largely filled by a levy on private broadcasters and Internet providers and by government support.

Opposition Socialists say it will weaken the financial foundations of public service television and lead to job losses.

The lower house last week approved a change in the law to give the government the power to appoint the head of the state television channels. The holder of the position was previously named by an independent agency.

Parliamentarians are expected to vote on the overall broadcast law on 16 December.

The upper house of parliament, the Senate, is due to begin reviewing the law on 7 January.