France 2: Wikis


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France 2
France 2
Launched 21 December 1963
Owned by France Télévisions
Audience share 16.3% (October 2009, [1])
Country France
Formerly called RTF Télévision 2 (1963-1964)
La Deuxième Chaîne de l’ORTF (1964-1975)
Antenne 2 (1975-1992)
Sister channel(s) France 3
France 4
France 5
France Ô
France 24
SECAM Channel 2
TNT Channel 2
CanalSat Channel 2
Bis Télévisions Channel 2
TV Vlaanderen Digitaal Channel 78
Noos Channel 2
Kabel Deutschland Channel 833
MC Cable Channel 4
Others (See article)
Ziggo (Netherlands) Channel 622
Cablecom Channel 108
Channel 303 (digital CH-D)
Naxoo Channel 5
Freebox TV Channel 2
Neuf Channel 2
Alice France Channel 2
DartyBox Channel 2
Orange TV Channel 2
Belgacom TV Channel 9 (Wallonia and Brussels), Channel 56 (Flanders)
MY.T Watch (Mauritius) Channel no. varies
Telenet TV Channel 36

France 2 is a French public national television channel. It is part of the state-owned France Télévisions group, along with France 3, France 5, France Ô, and the digital-only France 4. 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 (The Second Channel). 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 (compatible with SECAM).

Since 03:20 CET on 7 April 2008, all France 2 programming has been broadcast in 16:9 widescreen format[1] over the analog SECAM air frequencies and the French DVB-T multiplex frequencies (known as Television Numerique Terrestre). 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.[2]



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 (now superseded by France 5) soon became major competitors to the state-owned channels after the state monopoly was lifted.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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 (including American imports), game shows and light entertainments form the dominant mix on both channels.[7]

TV shows currently on air

Italian coverage

From 1975, Antenne 2 was available in Italy (regions of Tuscany, Lower Veneto and parts of Lombardy and Liguria) using SECAM and since 1983 using PAL until 2003 when the frequencies were sold to various television networks like such as Canale Italia and Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso.

Since 11 December 2006, France 2 was again made available across Italy on Digital terrestrial television until 7 June 2007, when it was replaced by France 24 (Radio France Internationale for a long time only in Rome).

France 2 is now only available in Aosta Valley due to Italian self-government laws, and in the border zones because of natural spillover.

Lebanese Civil War kidnapping

In March 1986, an Antenne 2 news team was kidnapped in Beirut while reporting on the Lebanese Civil War. Philippe Rochot, Georges Hansen, Aurel Cornéa and Jean-Louis Normandin were four of many Western hostages held by terrorists during the conflict. During the opening sequences of Antenne 2 news bulletins, the headlines would be followed by a reminder of the French hostages held in Lebanon, including others such as Michel Seurat and Jean-Paul Kaufman, with names, photos and the length of their captivity. Within a year, most of the news team had been released and returned to France, but the reminders continued until all the hostages had been freed.

Muhammad al-Durrah shooting

On 30 September 2000 France 2 aired the famous footage of the shooting of Muhammad al-Durrah in the Gaza Strip. The scene was filmed by a Palestinian journalist,Talal Abu Rahma, who worked for the station. [8] The voiceover, blaming the killing on fire from the Israeli Defence Forces, was provided by the channel's reporter Charles Enderlin. Subsequently that account was put in doubt, with others suggesting that the fatal shots could not have come from the IDF position.[9] France 2 later launched libel actions against commentators who alleged that the incident was staged. Although France 2 initially won a case against one of those critics, Philippe Karsenty, that judgment was overturned on appeal in May 2008. Based upon evidence presented by Karsenty, the court held that libel allegations could not be supported and upheld Karsenty's right to criticize the station over its coverage of this affair.[10]

2008-2009 Israel-Gaza Conflict

France 2 has been accused of airing misleading footage of the event that was biased against Israel during the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict.[11] It aired portion of a video that purported to show destruction caused by the Israel Air Force in January 2009, but was shown to be a different incident from 2005 in which the IDF denied having any involvement.[12][13] After being alerted to the error by bloggers,[14] France 2 acknowledged the error and formally apologized in the magazine Le Figaro, saying that it was an "internal malfunction" caused by their staff having "worked too fast."[11][15][16]


  1. ^ France 2 goes 16:9 widescreen : Broadband TV News
  2. ^ France 2 HD launches on CanalSat : Broadband TV News
  3. ^ Rigourd, Serge. "France", in Western Broadcasting at the Dawn of the 21st Century, pp. 255, 270. Eds. Haenens, Leen; Saeys, Frieda. Walter de Gruyter, 2001. ISBN 3110173867
  4. ^ Looseley, David. Popular Music in Contemporary France: Authenticity, Politics, Debate, p. 122. Berg Publishers, 2003. ISBN 185973636X
  5. ^ Rollet, Brigitte. "Television in France", in Television in Europe, pp. 39-40. Eds. Coleman, James A.; Rollet, Brigitte. Intellect Books, 1997. ISBN 1871516927
  6. ^ Hart, Jeffrey A. Technology, Television, and Competition: The Politics of Digital TV, p. 46. Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN 0521826241
  7. ^ Scriven, Michael; Lecomte, Monia. Television Broadcasting in Contemporary France and Britain, p. 46, 51. Berghahn Books, 1999. ISBN 1571817549
  8. ^ The Rory Peck Trust: Awards 2001
  9. ^ Who Shot Mohammed al-Dura?
  10. ^ French court cancels libel in Intifada video case Reuters.
  11. ^ a b Critics Say French TV Network Broadcast Fabricated Footage in Gaza, Again Fox News, 12 January 2009
  12. ^ France 2 victime d'une intox palestinienne ?
  13. ^ France 2 Uses Fake Gaza Video Israel National News 7 January 2009
  14. ^ Gaza propaganda war escalates on the internet
  15. ^ Gaza - France 2 : "une erreur bête" (Arlette Chabot)
  16. ^ French network apologizes for Gaza report

External links



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