Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sign of the Times

A sitcom has surpassed the audience for one of France's two prime-time evening news shows:
Mais, le 21 octobre, la série de M6 a rassemblé sur sa tranche horaire 4,35 millions de téléspectateurs, soit plus que les 4,3 millions du JT de France 2. Le 27 octobre et le 9 décembre, la série a récidivé avec 300.000 et 200.000 téléspectateurs de plus que le JT de France 2.
So, how are we to interpret this fact? Does it indicate declining interest in current affairs on the part of the viewing public? Or does it suggest, rather, that people now have so many sources of news other than the TV that the JT de 20h are no longer the national institution they once were? I lean toward the latter interpretation.


Robert said...

I think you'd be right. If anything, it's surprising JTs held their dominant ratings for as long as they did -- even if cable TV established itself much later in France than it did, say, in the States. I'm curious whether once-leading JTs in other European countries have experienced similar, slow declines.

Kirk said...

What they don't point out is that M6 has evening news as well, at 7:45. My guess is that a lot of people watching the sitcom watch the news that precedes it. Their news is a bit less "rich" than TF1 or France2, because of fewer resources, but it is news.

Also, I don't know how many people watch news on other channels, be it Canal+, iTelé or others, but I think this simply means that the two major networks no longer have a monoply. (I actually watch iTelé from time to time. Many of the anchors are former network newspeople, and they have pretty good coverage of much of the news.)

Kirk said...

Robert: there is, essentially, no cable TV in France. Only a few cities had cable, and French non-broadcast TV went via the satellite, and is now also provided by DSL. Currently, there is a monopoly on satellite TV, with only CanalSat existing. Each ISP offers a bundle of TV channels, most of which are the same, with premium channels available as an option. And with digital terrestial TV, which now covers (I think) more than 95% of the population, people have 20-odd channels, including some that would be the equivalent of "cable" type channels in the US.

Anonymous said...

The news on TF1 and France2 are hardly "rich". After the initial headlines, they while away the time with pointless interviews of random people saying superficial things such as "Today I sat in a traffic jam for 2 hours" or "I like to go to my local shop to buy French cheese". When I watch, I often get exasperated and turn it off half way through.

Anonymous said...

By rich I meant things like foreign correspondants (better on France2 than TF1), or interviews with important people (not the ones with actors).

Cincinna said...

How do you say "the MSM or LSM in France is dead"?
Only a question of time before alternate sources of information dominate.
Is there an equivalent of the Drudge Report in France? Almost every journalist, politico, and political junkie's all on one page site with links to every news source in the US and in the world.
One of the websites that changed the world, now with more than 2 million hits per day.