French terrestrial TV channels have cut back the number of feature films broadcast per year, airing 49 fewer titles last year than in 1999. This includes 31 fewer films broadcast in primetime, for a total of less than 800 films.

According to the latest survey by French audiovisual industry watchdog CSA (Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel), this is mostly due to public broadcaster France 2 and private broadcaster M6. The two have been increasingly reducing their film slots.

In 2000, the two channels aired 154 and 175 feature films respectively, with private channel TF1 and public channel France 3 each showing 192 films. This corresponds exactly to the regulatory cap on the number of theatrical titles the French terrestrial broadcasters are allowed to include in their schedules.

However, a record 39% of the films broadcast on France 2 were making their terrestrial premieres, compared to an average 25% for all channels and only 27% for TF1, traditionally the channel which airs the highest number of first-run titles.

All terrestrial channels complied with the European film quotas set for 2000. France 3 scheduled the highest number of European films, which represented 71.8% of its film offering and included 56.8% of local titles - the required ratios were 60% and 40%. This compared to 60.4% and 47.9% for TF1, 61% and 47.4% for France 2, and 61% and 40.6% for M6.