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Thinker445 posts since 14 Dec 2005
On Tuesday, it'll be 40 years since France's ORTF ceased operations and was divided into different companies. TF1, Antenne 2 and FR3 all launched on the 6th of January, 1975.

The INA (or National Audiovisual Institute) has posted a bunch of nice retrospectives with clips from the launches and subsequent developments.

TF1: http://www.ina.fr/contenus-editoriaux/articles-editoriaux/tf1-40-ans
Antenne 2: http://www.ina.fr/contenus-editoriaux/articles-editoriaux/antenne-2-40-ans
FR3: http://www.ina.fr/contenus-editoriaux/articles-editoriaux/fr3-40-ans
Radio France: http://www.ina.fr/contenus-editoriaux/articles-editoriaux/radio-france-40-ans
INA: http://www.ina.fr/contenus-editoriaux/articles-editoriaux/ina-40-ans

Obviously, it's all in French but Google Translate can help with the descriptions.
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deejay2,925 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Central (South) Oxford
Very interesting, thank you. A number of BBC shows in the penultimate link, I spotted Rolf Harris and Blue Peter at least. Hadn't realised French television showed those sort of programmes - presumably they were dubbed?
Two minutes regions...
WW Update4,840 posts since 6 Feb 2007
Very interesting, thank you. A number of BBC shows in the penultimate link, I spotted Rolf Harris and Blue Peter at least. Hadn't realised French television showed those sort of programmes - presumably they were dubbed?


Yes, French television has always bought British programs (and shown them dubbed). Here is a quote from Timothy Green's 1972 book The Universal Eye: World Television in the Seventies:

"The French hold their foreign buying down to 13 percent of their output (about the same proportion as the British), of which three quarters comes from the United States and most of the remainder from Britain -- both The Saint and The Avengers (Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir) have been very successful."

Of course, the proportion of foreign programming on French TV is much higher nowadays.
Last edited by WW Update on 4 January 2015 6:34pm - 2 times in total
Thinker445 posts since 14 Dec 2005

"The French hold their foreign buying down to 13 percent of their output (about the same proportion as the British), of which three quarters comes from the United States and most of the remainder from Britain -- both The Saint and The Avengers (Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir) have been very successful."

Of course, the proportion of foreign programming on French TV is much higher nowadays.


That's one of the things I like the least about the old heavily regulated TV landscape, the aversion politicians and other decision makers had towards imported programming.

American shows were obviously seen as the essence of depravity, but even British or European imports were regarded as something that should be avoided as they were perceived as threats to homegrown production.
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WW Update4,840 posts since 6 Feb 2007
Here is a TV news report from the day when the breakup of the ORTF was announced in 1974 -- it includes a brief look back at the history of the ORTF:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp1oHHaNEk8

Here is a pre-breakup ident for the ORTF's Second Network:



And here is the post-breakup startup animation for the new Antenne 2 network, designed by the well-known Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon:



BTW, these English-language books cover the breakup of the ORTF:

The Media in France by Raymond Kuhn (Routledge, 1995)
Broadcasting and Democracy in France by Ruth Thomas (Bradford University Press, 1976, or Temple University Press, 1977)

For a description of French TV in the ORTF era, check out:

The Universal Eye: World Television in the Seventies by Timothy Green (Bodley Head, 1972)