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French cinema unveils its proposal on the new media chronology

After several months of discussions, the French cinema institutions have just submitted their proposal to revise the media chronology. In particular, it plans to promote platforms that invest in French creation, to offer them a more advanced distribution window.

Credit: Denise Jans on Unsplash

Considered aging and ill-suited to the cinema market, media timeline will be revised in the coming months. Under construction for several years, this new calendar is becoming clearer, while the French cinema has just made its proposal. The various organizations had until March 31 to issue an opinion on the issue, before the launch of discussions under the leadership of the CNC. The goal for the National Center for Cinema and Animated Image is obviously to take into account the emergence of new platforms such as Netflix or even Amazon Prime Video.

As a reminder, the media chronology defines the broadcasting times between the different media in order to preserve theatrical broadcasting. A film screened in theaters will have to wait about 3 months before being sold on DVD or VOD. Then, pay-TV channels that have signed an agreement with film organizations (such as Canal + and OCS) will be able to broadcast films released in theaters after 8 months. Next come the free channels investing 3.2% of their turnover in creation such as TF1 and M6 (22nd month) and finally subscription platforms “Non-virtuous” like Netflix, Disney + or Amazon Prime Video which can make films available after the 36th month. It is this media timeline that, for example, prevents Disney + from broadcasting the latest Avengers.

In a press release published on April 6, French organizations such as BLIC (Bureau de Liaison des Industries Cinématographiques), BLOC (Bureau de Liaison des Organizations du Cinéma) and ARP (Civil Society of Authors, Directors and Producers), unveiled their proposal for revising the media chronology. Called the “BBA scenario”, it will serve as a basis for reflection for the discussions to be conducted by the CNC in the coming months. The proposal tends to simplify the current timeline “With a start of audiovisual broadcasts six months after theatrical release” Box Office Pro reports. Thus, pay channels such as Canal + or platforms called “Ultra paying” having made strong commitments to support creation, will gain two months. Paid platforms, who support French cinema, will be able to benefit from an interim window of 12 months.

Support creation while taking into account SVOD platforms

Victor Hadida, president of BLIC specifies: “this proposal is based on the fundamental principle of a preference given to broadcasters who have signed a virtuous inter-professional agreement with the cinema. This prerequisite, in order to benefit from a more advanced window of exclusivity, makes it possible to favor the actors allocating a prominent place to the cinema in their programs, and to welcome new entrants in a virtuous way while consolidating the place of historical actors ” . Thus, Netflix and its consorts will be able to benefit from shorter deadlines if they agree to invest part of their capital in the financing of the 7th art.

It remains to be seen whether the proposals of French cinema will be accepted upon signing of the final agreement. The new media timeline must be voted on by July 2021 at the latest.

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