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General information  

  • Starting date : 31/12/1972

Alias  

  • <small>(1975–1992)<blockquote>
  • <small>(1975—1992)
  • FR3 (France Régions 3)
  • La 3e chaîne couleur<small>(1972–1975) FR3 (France Régions 3)
  • La Troisième Chaîne de l'ORTF
  • La Troisième Chaîne de l'ORTF (1972—1975)

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France 3 (1972)

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  Summary  

France 3 is the second largest French public television channel and part of the France Télévisions group, which also includes France 2, France 4, France 5, and France Ô.

It is made up of a network of regional television services providing daily news programming and around ten hours of entertainment and cultural programming produced for and about the regions each week. The channel also broadcasts various national programming and national and international news from Paris. The channel was known as FR3 or France Régions 3 until the formation of France Télévisions in September 1992.

Prior to the establishment of RFO, it also broadcast to the various French overseas territories.

  Biography  

 La Chaîne Couleur (1972–1974)
The Third Channel began broadcasting on 31 December 1972, then known as Couleur 3. The station's first President Director General , Jean-Louis Guillaud, decided to call on the ORTF's regional television services and aspiring young staff to join the new network, which would broadcast in colour, with no advertising or continuity announcers (although out-of-vision announcers were later introduced).

To begin with, Couleur 3's broadcasts were restricted to three hours each evening and only reached a potential audience of 26% of the population – its transmissions primarily covered Paris, the Ile-de-France and Northern regions. By the end of the decade, FR3 had become a fully national network.

 Autonomous from the state (1974–1999)
On 7 October 1974, law reforms signalled the breakup of the ORTF into seven separate state-owned companies. In the case of the third channel, the Société nationale de programme de télévision France Régions 3 was given responsibility for management and development of 22 regional television services and 29 regional radio stations under the editorialship of 11 broadcasting centres.

FR3 was launched on 6 January 1975 with its PDG, Claude Contaime, choosing to concentrate on film, debate and local opt-outs as the network's main output. By 22 March 1975, daily local progaramming for the regions had commenced. Some national programming, including Les Jeux de 20 Heures, made heavy use of the regional network by linking up to studios around the country for live features. In the case of Les Jeux de 20 Heures, it is said that such programming led the State government to understand the importance of regionalism and to gradually undertake measures to decentralise France administratively and economically.

On the programming front, the network's first national news programme was introduced in 1978 in the form of Soir 3, a late night national and international bulletin. 21 October 1981 saw FR3 begin regular live coverage of the ministers' questions of the National Assembly. Advertising was introduced to the network in January 1983. By September 1983, the twelve broadcasting centres around the country were airing an average of 3 hours a day of regional output. Popular programming on Saturday night included the first airings of the American soap opera Dynasty and a Disney Channel strand. National and regional news at peaktime was integrated into a new nightly programme, 19|20, launched on 6 May 1986.

 Privatisation...almost (1986–1989)
In 1986, the then government of Jacques Chirac put forward the proposal of privatising one of the three public television companies. The original suggestion was to turn FR3 into a private body, however the final decision was that of TF1. The broadcasting authority at the time, the CNCL, appointed Rene Han to become programme controller of FR3, with the result that the networked programmes took an even more highbrow and cultural focus.

Changes to the schedule included a supplementary Friday night edition of Thalassa- le magazine de la mer whilst an televised opera was aired every Wednesday night. Popular quiz show Questions pour un champion made its broadcasting début in November 1988. La Classe, an entertainment programme which replaced Les Jeux de 20 heures and followed 19|20, was also introduced. Having launched without utilising speakerines, the network introduced in-vision announcers in September 1987 and retained live continuity until 1993, a year after TF1 and France 2 had abandoned in-vision presentation.

 Making the public sector stronger (1989–1990)
At the turn of the decade, the French television landscape which had been previously dominated by the three public stations now consisted of a strong private sector in the form of TF1 and Canal+ and the now-fragmented public sector of Antenne 2 and FR3. In 1990, the State, through the Conseil Supérieure de l’Audiovisuel , decided to merge the separate public entities into a new corporation.

At the same time, FR3 was already closing down on Saturday afternoons to allow nine hours of airtime to the educational station La Sept. The arrangement continued until 1992 when the launch of the Franco-German network Arte led to the broadcaster's demise. On FR3 itself, the network aired current affairs programming on Saturday mornings including Continentales and L’Eurojournal, both presented by Alex Taylor.

 The public union (1990–2009)
On 7 September 1992, FR3 and Antenne 2 formed France Télévisions and rebranded as France 3 and France 2 respectively. In 1998, France 3 partnered with TPS to launch a satellite station called Régions.

Between 2000 and 2005, La Cinquième , RFO (together with RFOsat, now France Ô) and France 4 joined France 2 and France 3 under the France Télévisions corporate identity.

Under the direction of France Télévisions président Patrick de Carolis and director of channels Patrice Duhamel, October 2006 saw the introduction of a new daily cultural programme called Ce soir (ou jamais!) presented by Frederic Taddei, marking a new, more cultural focus to the network's programming. The late night news programme Soir 3 was given a new, fixed timeslot of 11 pm.

 At present (2009 – present )
On 5 January 2009 all on-air advertising on France Télévisions, between 20:00 and 06:00 were eliminated, meaning the traditional start of primetime viewing in France of 20:45 was put back ten minutes to 20:35.

With the establishment of digital terrestrial television, France 3 has seen its national audience share down to under 10%, behind M6.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "France 3", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.