Rising budgets for public broadcasting

Published on Sep 27, 2023 at 2:48 p.m.

Since the end of the license fee, public broadcasting has been holding its breath to find out what kind of budgetary sauce it would eat. The new financial trajectory has finally been defined for France Televisions , Radio France, France Médias Monde (France 24, RFI, etc.), the National Audiovisual Institute and TV5 Monde. Inflation requires, the envelopes are increasing, but without any blank check: the granting of part of the funds will depend on the progress of the cooperation projects.

Coming out of a cycle of spending reductions that began in 2018, the resources available to companies will increase over the next five years. For 2024, the total envelope will increase by 228 million euros to 4.025 billion euros. It is a level calibrated to absorb the shock of inflation, offset the tax effects linked to the end of the fee but also support the transformation of businesses.

Incentive mechanism

Then, over the following years, the trajectory will still be upwards but at a much more moderate pace to reach 4.26 billion euros in 2028. This is therefore a new, carefully measured but demanding balance.

Alongside the basic allocations to finance the pursuit of the missions of the companies concerned, for the first time there is a conditionality mechanism with an additional envelope of 200 million (including 69 million euros in the year 2024 alone) to support the transformation and modernization projects, as in the efforts on digital technology and the cooperation between Radio France and France Télévisions on the offer in the regions. The payment of these sums will therefore not be automatic but will depend on concrete achievements.

Contracts of objectives and means

If the horizon is clearer on the financial level, the new contracts of objectives and means (COM) linking public audiovisual companies to its shareholder, the State, are still under discussion. But they should in all likelihood revolve around four priorities: strengthening the local offering to meet the needs of French people and be closer to their concerns; deploy a strong digital strategy aimed in particular at winning back young people; reinforce the reference status of public service information; protect the role of public media in financing creation.

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