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General information  

  • Starting date : 21/12/1963

Alias  

  • La deuxième chaîne de la RTF(1963–1964)
  • La Deuxième Chaîne de l’ORTF (1964–1975)
  • Antenne 2 (1975–1992)
  • RTF Télévision 2 (1963–1964)

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France 2 (1963)

"L’évènement nous rassemble"

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  Summary  

France 2 is a French public national television channel. It is part of the state-owned France Télévisions group, along with France 3, France 4, France 5 and France Ô. France Télévisions also participates in ARTE, EuroNews, several cable/satellite thematic channels, and Mediamétrie.

Originally under the ownership of the RTF, the channel went on-air for the first time on 21 December 1963 as RTF Télévision 2. Within a year, the formation of the ORTF led to a rebranding as La Deuxième Chaîne . Originally, the network was broadcast on 625-line transmitters only in preparation for the discontinuation of 819-line black & white transmissions and the introduction of colour. The switch to colour occurred at 14:15 CET on 1 October 1967, using the SECAM system. La Deuxième Chaîne became the first colour television channel in France – TF1 would not commence colour broadcasting on 625-lines until several years later. Such technology later allowed the network to air programming in NICAM stereo .

Since 03:20 CET on 7 April 2008, all France 2 programming has been broadcast in 16:9 widescreen format over the analog SECAM air frequencies and the French DVB-T multiplex frequencies . A HD version of France 2 has been broadcasting via DVB-S Service CanalSat since 1 July 2008 and on DVB-T since 30 October 2008.

  Biography  

The present channel is the direct successor of Antenne 2, established under a 1974 law that mandated the breakup of ORTF into seven distinct organisations. Three television "programme corporations" were established in 1975 – TF1, Antenne 2 and FR3, now France 3 – alongside Radio France, the production corporation Société française de production, the public broadcasting agency TéléDiffusion de France and the Institut national de l'audiovisuel. Antenne 2 and the other corporations were constituted as limited companies with the state controlling 100% of their capital. Although the three channels were set up as competitors vying for advertisers, they retained a collective monopoly over television broadcasting in France that was not repealed until 1981. Privately owned channels such as Canal+ and La Cinq soon became major competitors to the state-owned channels after the state monopoly was lifted. The breakup of ORTF had been intended to stimulate competition between the public channels but failed in this aim; both TF1 and Antenne 2 came to rely on a diet of popular entertainment shows alongside cheap American imports, seeking to maximise ratings and attract advertisers.

TF1 was privatised in 1987, radically affecting the balance of the French television market. The remaining state-owned channels came under severe pressure from their private competitors and lost 30% of their market share between 1987 and 1989. In an effort to save them, a single director-general was appointed to manage both Antenne 2 and FR3 and the two channels merged to form the France Télévisions group. They were renamed in 1992 as France 2 and France 3 respectively.

By 1995, the combined audience share of the two state-owned channels was 41%, with France 2 in particular being heavily dependent on advertising and sponsorship revenues, which comprised 43.8% of its budget by 1996. The focus on ratings led to strong rivalry with TF1, for instance prompting the two channels to broadcast popular shows and news programmes in the same timeslots. TF1 and France 2 compete for the same demographics; dramas , game shows and light entertainments form the dominant mix on both channels.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "France 2", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.