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Coordinates: 48°50′1.9″N 2°15′38.3″E / 48.833861°N 2.260639°E / 48.833861; 2.260639

Télévision Française 1 2013.png
Launched April 26, 1935
Owned by TF1 Group
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 22.8% (2013, Médiamétrie)
Slogan On se retrouve tous sur TF1
Country France, Monaco
Language French
Formerly called Radio-PTT Vision (1935–1937)
RN Télévision (1937–1939)
Fernsehsender Paris (1943–1944)
Télévision Française (1944–1945)
RDF (1945–1949)
RTF (1949–1963)
Première chaîne de la RTF (1963–1964)
Première Chaîne de l'ORTF (1964–1975)
TNT Channel 1 (SD)
Channel 51 (HD)
Canalsat Channel 1 (SD/HD)
Channel 500 (HD)
Channel 700 (SD)
Canalsat Channel 1 (SD/HD)
Channel 500 (HD)
Channel 700 (SD)

TF1 (pronounced: [te ɛf œ̃]) is a private national French TV channel, controlled by TF1 Group, whose major share-holder is Bouygues. TF1's average market share of 24% makes it the most popular domestic network. It's also considered to be the most viewed television channel in Europe. Flagship series include CSI, The Voice and House M.D.

The channel is part of the TF1 Group of mass media companies, which also includes the news channel LCI and Eurosport, the largest European sports network. Together with France Télévisions, TF1 co-managed the international French news channel France 24 but has since sold its share. TF1 had possessed the satellite-network TPS, which have been sold to the Canal+ Group.

TF1 is a supporter of the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) initiative (a consortium of broadcasting and Internet industry companies including SES, OpenTV and Institut für Rundfunktechnik) that is promoting and establishing an open European standard for hybrid set-top boxes for the reception of broadcast TV and broadband multimedia applications with a single user interface.


It was the only channel in France for 28 years, and has often changed its name since the creation of Radio-PTT Vision on April 26, 1935, making it one of the oldest television stations in the world, and one of the very few prewar television stations to remain in existence to the present day. It became Radiodiffusion nationale Télévision (RN Télévision) in 1937, Fernsehsender Paris (Paris Television) during German occupation in 1943, RDF Télévision française in 1944, RTF Télévision in 1949, la Première chaîne de la RTF in 1963 following the creation of the second channel, la Première chaîne de l'ORTF in 1964 and finally Télévision Française 1 (TF1) in 1975.

Radio-PTT Vision (1935-1937)[edit]

Radio-PTT Vision began operations on April 26, 1935 as the first television station in France, using a 30-line mechanical television system based on the Nipkow disk. It was operated by the French PTT agency with a transmitter located atop the Eiffel Tower, and was on air three days a week from 11 am to 11:30 am and 8 pm to 8:30 pm and on Sundays from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. On January 4, 1937 the broadcasting hours were changed such that television programmes were aired from 5 pm until 10 pm Wednesdays to Fridays, and from 4 pm to 8:30 pm or 9 pm Saturdays to Tuesdays.

Radiodiffusion nationale Télévision (1937-1939)[edit]

Following successful trails of a "high-definition" 455-line electronic television system designed by Thomson-Houston which improved on the 405-line system originally designed by EMI-Marconi, Radio-PTT Vision renamed itself as Radiodiffusion nationale Télévision (RN Télévision) in July 1937. However, broadcasts using the Nipkow disk system continued alongside the new electronic system until April 10, 1938. In July 1938, a decree of the French PTT agency fixed the French broadcast television standard as transmitting on 455 lines VHF (46 MHz, positive modulation, 25 frames per second), to be adopted throughout France within three years. The adoption of the electronic standard marked the end of mechanical television in France, and the advent of electronic television to obtain much better image quality. RN Télévision abruptly stopped broadcasts on September 3, 1939 following the entry of France into the Second World War.

Fernsehsender Paris (1943-1944)[edit]

Television broadcasts resumed in occupied France on May 7, 1943 as Fernsehsender Paris, under the control of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. It was on air in German and French four days a week from 10 am to noon, three days a week from 3 pm to 8 pm and every evening from 8:30 pm to 10 pm. Fernsehsender Paris stopped broadcasts on August 12, 1944, one week before the liberation of Paris.

RDF Télévision française (1944-1949)[edit]

Television broadcasts in France resumed on October 1, 1944 under the name Télévision française, and following the creation of Radiodiffusion française on March 23, 1945 the television service was renamed as RDF Télévision française. Following the return of the Eiffel Tower to the French after being in American administration following the liberation of Paris, on October 1, 1945 the official resumption of television broadcasts took place with one hour of programming each day. On November 20, 1948, the Secretary of State for Information, François Mitterrand decreed the adoption of the 819-line high-definition VHF standard, which was in use from 1949 until 1981.

RTF Télévision (1949-1964)[edit]

Radiodiffusion française was renamed as Radiodiffusion-télévision française (RTF) on February 9, 1949, and thus began the growth of television as an accepted mass medium in France. On May 29, 1949 the first news programme aired on RTF TV, and on July 30, 1949 a television licence fee was introduced. Residents living outside of Paris could view RTF TV for the first time in February 1952 when Télé Lille (now known as France 3 Nord-Pas-de-Calais), a regional broadcaster operating since April 10, 1950 was co-opted into the RTF TV network and became RTF's first relay outside of Paris.

TF1 (since 1975)[edit]

TF1 originally stood for Télévision Française 1 (French Television 1). Since its privatisation in 1987, the abbreviation is no longer expanded, so as to avoid confusion with the government-owned channel France Télévisions.[citation needed]



French TV shows now airing:

  • Julie Lescaut
  • Diane, femme flic
  • Alice Nevers, le juge est une femme
  • Joséphine Ange gardien
  • No limit
  • Falco

These TF1 Original TV shows were shown on TF1 :

  • Les toqués
  • Rose et Val, Soeur Thérè, Mes amis, mes amours, mes emmerdes..., Commissaire Cordier, R.I.S Police scientifique, Les Cordier, juge et flic ; Extrême limite ; La Vie devant nous ; Joséphine ange gardien.

American TV shows now airing (dubbed and sometimes also subtitled): Surface (Surface)

  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (New York unité spéciale)
  • Walker, Texas Ranger (Walker, Texas ranger)
  • Life (Life)
  • Monk (Monk)

CSI: NY (Les experts : Manhattan)

  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Les experts)
  • Wild Card (Méthode Zoé)
  • The Young and the Restless (Les feux de l'amour)
  • Crossing Jordan (Preuve à l'appui)
  • House (Dr House)
  • Grey's Anatomy (Grey's Anatomy)
  • Close to Home (Close to Home)
  • The Mentalist (Mentalist)
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent (New York section criminelle)
  • CSI: Miami (Les experts : Miami)
  • Brothers & Sisters (Brothers & Sisters)
  • Dirty Sexy Money (Dirty Sexy Money)
  • Army Wives (American Wives)

These American TV shows were shown on TF1: Ghost Whisperer (Ghost whisperer), 7th Heaven (7 à la maison), Strong Medicine (La vie avant tout), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Terminator : les chroniques de Sarah Connor), Law & Order (New York police judiciaire), Bionic Woman (Bionic woman), One Tree Hill (Les frères Scott), Private Practice (Private practice), Las Vegas ; Will & Grace ; What About Brian ; Yes, Dear (Oui chérie!) ; Joan of Arcadia (Le monde de Joan) ; American Dreams (Mes plus belles années); Dawson's Creek (Dawson) ; Felicity ; Baywatch (Alerte à Malibu) ; Angel ; Beverly Hills, 90210 (Beverly Hills) ; Melrose Place ; Silk Stalkings (Les dessous de Palm Beach) ; MacGyver ; Mad About You (Dingue de toi) ; Providence ; Strong Medicine (La vie avant tout) ; Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (Hercule) ; Xena: Warrior Princess (Xena, la guerrière) ; The Invisible Man (L'homme invisible) ; Sunset Beach ; Law & Order: Trial by Jury (New York cour de justice) ; Threat Matrix (Agence Matrix) ; L.A. Dragnet (Dragnet) ; Karen Sisco ; North Shore (North Shore: hôtel du Pacifique) ; Point Pleasant (Point Pleasant, entre le bien et le mal) ; Conviction ; Tarzan (Jane et Tarzan) ; The Mountain (La famille Carver) ; Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family (FBI family) ; General Hospital (Alliances & trahisons) ; Passions ; One Life to Live (On ne vit qu'une fois) ; All My Children (La force du destin) ; Guiding Light (Haine et passions) ; Search for Tomorrow (C'est déjà demain) ; Parker Lewis Can't Lose (Parker Lewis ne perd jamais) ; Hunter (Rick Hunter) ; Knight Rider (K 2000) ; Hart to Hart (Pour l'amour du risque) ; Columbo ; Starsky and Hutch (Starsky et Hutch) ; Eight Is Enough (Huit, ça suffit !) ; Knots Landing (Côte Ouest) ; Dallas ; Santa Barbara ; The A-Team (Agence tous risques) ; Diff'rent Strokes (Arnold et Willy) ; Lost (Lost). These reality shows were shown on TF1: Survivor (Koh-Lanta), The Voice (The voice : la plus belle voix), Fear Factor (French version) ; Je suis une célébrité, sortez-moi de là! (French "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!") ; Greg le Millionaire (French "Joe Millionaire") ; Marjolaine et les Millionnaires ; Nice People (French Big Brother) ; 1ère Compagnie (French "Celebrity Bootcamp")  ; Mon Incroyable Fiancé (French "My Big incredible Fiancé") ; Queer : Cinq Experts dans le Vent (French "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy") and Le Royaume (French "The Riket"). Game shows now airing: Les 12 coups de Midi The Dating Game (Tournez Manège !) Le Juste Prix (The Price is Right) La Roue de la Fortune (Wheel of Fortune)

Kids TV series

In 2005, TF1 launched TF1Vision, a video on demand service.


1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
45.4% 50.4% 50.4% 46.8% 47.3% 46.3% 42.3% 37.9% 39.1% 38.6% 38.2% 42.1% 44.8% 41.0% 41.9% 42.1% 41.0% 41.0% 39.5% 37.3%

From 1983 to 1986, TF1 was second behind Antenne 2.

January February March April May June July August September October November December Year
1996 35.6% 33.1% 35.6% 35.0% 35.1% 33.7% 34.0% 35.4%
1997 34.6% 35.6% 34.5% 34.9% 35.3% 35.7% 32.8% 35.8% 34.8% 34.9% 34.2% 37.0% 35.0%
1998 34.1% 34.0% 35.2% 35.6% 35.2% 34.8% 34.7% 36.4% 37.2% 36.1% 35.2% 35.3% 35.3%
1999 34.9% 36.5% 35.6% 35.9% 34.2% 35.1% 33.0% 34.7% 34.7% 36.1% 35.2% 35.2% 35.1%
2000 33.9% 33.9% 32.6% 33.4% 34.4% 34.1% 33.2% 33.5% 31.8% 33.8% 33.2% 33.0% 33.4%
2001 33.8% 33.3% 33.6% 32.5% 31.8% 31.8% 31.3% 33.7% 33.6% 32.0% 32.0% 32.8% 32.7%
2002 33.5% 31.9% 31.9% 31.1% 31.9% 34.5% 31.2% 34.2% 32.4% 33.2% 33.2% 32.9% 32.7%
2003 31.9% 31.3% 31.8% 30.5% 31.1% 31.6% 31.1% 31.3% 31.4% 32.4% 30.8% 32.2% 31.5%
2004 32.7% 31.8% 31.8% 32.5% 33.0% 32.2% 31.1% 30.1% 32.0% 32.0% 31.1% 31.4% 31.8%
2005 32.2% 32.1% 32.7% 31.4% 31.7% 31.2% 32.6% 34.5% 33.4% 33.4% 31.5% 31.9% 32.3%
2006 32.0% 30.2% 31.5% 31.9% 31.2% 32.8% 33.8% 32.8% 31.3% 31.7% 30.2% 30.7% 31.6%
2007 30.7% 31.0% 31.0% 30.3% 31.4% 30.5% 30.2% 31.6% 31.8% 31.8% 29.3% 28.9% 30.7%
2008 28.0% 27.5% 28.0% 27.2% 27.2% 27.5% 27.1% 27.7% 28.0% 26.2% 26.1% 26.2% 27.2%
2009 26.7% 26.2% 26.7% 26.3% 25.5% 25.9% 25.7% 26.7% 26.6% 26.2% 25.8% 24.8% 26.1%
2010 25.1% 25.1% 25.1% 24.3% 24.0% 25.1% 23.9% 24.0% 24.1% 24.7% 24.3% 24.6% 24.5%
2011 24.0% 23.9% 24.5% 23.2% 23.6% 23.3% 22.8% 23.4% 24.1% 24.5% 23.0% 23.3% 23.7%
2012 22.3% 22.6% 23.6% 22.6% 22.9% 22.2% 21.8% 21.3%** 23% 23.4% 23.3% 23.1% 22.7%
2013 23.3% 23.2% 23.9% 22.6% 22.2% 21.9% 21.4% 22.2% 23.4%

** Minimum


Some commentators accuse TF1 of being an excessively populist, commercialised channel. There is a clear emphasis on "light" entertainment programmes over more serious content, and the channel's success is sometimes seen as being founded on the ménagères de moins de 50 ans (housewives under 50) audience segment. Certainly, a large proportion of the schedule consists of gameshows, sensational documentaries and dubbed versions of TV series. The channel's news service is perceived as consisting of more celebrity news and human-interest stories than its public-sector competitors.

On April 16, 2009, the employee responsible for the "Web innovation" department was fired for criticizing the HADOPI law in a private email (on 19 February) sent to a Member of Parliament. The management of TF1 was notified about the e-mail by the Ministry for Culture and Communication, whom Ministry Christine Albanel is also one the authors of the HADOPI law.[1][2][3]

In 2004 Patrick Le Lay, CEO of TF1 made the following statement about the channel's aims:

There are many ways to speak about TV, but in a business perspective, let's be realistic: at the basis, TF1's job is helping Coca-Cola, for example, to sell its product. What we sell to Coca-Cola is available human brain time. Nothing is more difficult than obtaining this availability. This is where permanent change is located. We must always look out for popular programs, follow trends, surf on tendencies, in a context in which information is speeding up, getting manifold and trivialized.[4]

Critics of TF1 also contend that its news coverage is slanted towards supporting right-wing politicians – they were in particular accused of supporting Édouard Balladur in the 1995 presidential elections, and of overstating crime during the 2002 electoral campaign to tilt the balance in favour of former French president Jacques Chirac, who campaigned on a law and order platform.

Key figures within TF1 are close friends to some of the most powerful politicians in France, and the relationship between Bouygues and the public-sector contracting system often raises suspicions. Nicolas Sarkozy (President of the French Republic from May 16, 2007 until May 15, 2012) is a frequent guest of the channel, and is seen as being given an easier ride than on other networks. Immigration and violence are arguably conflated in the channel's news programmes. In addition, it is occasionally alleged that news reports from TF1 tend to ignore issues yielding a bad light on their parent group (Bouygues), while stressing the problems of competitors (such as VINCI).

Such criticism is heavy in the satirical show Les Guignols de l'info, broadcast on rival private network Canal Plus. However, TF1 now competes in this category with M6, which was initially a generalist channel focusing on musical programmes, but now has programming more resembling TF1 (notably, reality shows that TF1 started running just after M6 introduced them).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In France, Fired For Writing To MP Against 3 Strikes - Slashdot
  2. ^ Hadopi: Amendment 138, A Dismissal for Dissent, and More Letters « kNOw Future Inc
  3. ^ TV Exec Fired for Opposing Anti-Piracy law | TorrentFreak
  4. ^ Patrick Le Lay, in Les dirigeants français et le changement, 2004, ISBN 2-914119-33-X. French quote: « Il y a beaucoup de façons de parler de la télévision, mais dans une perspective business, soyons réaliste: à la base, le métier de TF1, c'est d'aider Coca-Cola, par exemple, à vendre son produit. Ce que nous vendons à Coca-Cola, c'est du temps de cerveau humain disponible. Rien n’est plus difficile que d’obtenir cette disponibilité. C’est là que se trouve le changement permanent. Il faut chercher en permanence les programmes qui marchent, suivre les modes, surfer sur les tendances, dans un contexte où l’information s’accélère, se multiplie et se banalise. »

External links[edit]