|Launched||28 November 2005|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)
|Audience share||1.9% (2013, Médiamétrie)|
|Bis Televisions||Channel 15|
|TV Vlaanderen Digitaal||Channel 59|
|Numericable||Channel 53 (HD)|
|MC Cable||Channel 85|
|Freebox TV||Channel 15 (HD)|
|SFR||Channel 15 (HD)|
|Alice France||Channel 15 (HD)|
|Channel 15 (HD)|
|Orange TV||Channel 15 (HD)|
As the country's most-watched news network with 10 million daily viewers, BFMTV "boasts a market share in France that is greater than any equivalent news channel around the world". Its economic coverage is "clearly pro-business, pro-reform, and anti the old consensus", which is noteworthy because in France, "economic coverage tends to come from the opposite perspective—the state sector and workers taking precedence over private enterprise".
BFMTV was launched by the NextRadioTV group as an offshoot of BFM Radio, which exclusively focused on business and the economy, on December 14, 2004. BFM is an acronym of "Business FM", the original name of BFM Business. Approved by the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA) on May 5, 2005, it began broadcasting on November 28, 2005. Alain Weill has served as Chairman and CEO since 2005.
The "small independent news channel" became "one of the most influential voices in French media and politics" by distinguishing itself with "a reactive, live format—and dumping the French habit of endless pre-recorded talk". Ratings continuously increased and became the most watched French news channel in June 2008. With a 1.8 national share (as of mid-2012), it greatly exceeds its first competitor, I-Télé (0.7 national share). As the ratings and the advertising revenues increased, the budget of the network peaked at €50 million in 2011, compared to €15 million in 2006.
As a rolling news channel, BFMTV has been criticized for "accelerat[ing] reality, and creat[ing] pressure for instant solutions", as well as being conflating what it means to be "popular" and "populist" due to its pursuit of audiences. Thus other media institutions have insinuated that that BFMTV has furthered the cause of Marine Le Pen, the head of the nationalist Front national political party. For example, BFMTV "star interviewer" Jean-Jacques Bourdin has been ridiculed for "rejoicing at the prospect of a President Le Pen"; such insinuations tend to arouse "fury" in the BFMTV newsroom. In March 2014 French media regulator Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA) examined BFMTV's distribution of airtime for election candidates, stating that the channel gave UMP and Socialist Party candidates limited access while allowing the Front National "persistent overrepresentation".
Daniel Schneidermann, a media commentator writing for the left-wing Libération, thinks that BFMTV "may not set out to be right-wing but it ends up that way de facto", claiming that BFMTV "over-cover[s] her" because they need good ratings and Le Pen "always gets a good audience". Similarly, Schneidermann notes that they prioritize coverage of sensational issues such as crime stories to the detriment of "social" stories. Indeed, Bourdin and another TV host Christophe Hondelatte have been described as a "duo of shock". For example, Hondelatte revealed that his pay is tied to the size of the audience he attracts.
It was launched first on the French digital terrestrial television (TNT, or télévision numérique terrestre) and is broadcast free 24 hours a day, by satellite on CanalSat (see frequencies below), French digital terrestrial television, by DSL providers Free, Neuf, Alice, Orange, by mobile television on Orange and SFR, by cable provider Numericable, and live on the channel's website (via Windows Media streaming).
BFMTV has a policy called priorite au direct that mandates that live outside feeds are used whenever possible.
BFMTV is freely broadcast by satellite in DVB-S MPEG-2 unencrypted:
- Hot Bird 13°: 11.585 GHz Pol V, SR27500 et FEC 2/3
- Astra 19.2°E, 11.508 GHz, Pol V, SR 22000 et FEC 5/6
BFMTV journalists, who tend to be young, "pride themselves on doing things differently".
- Jean Alexandre Baril
- Eric Brunet
- Jean-Jacques Bourdin
- Florence Duprat
- Ruth Elkrief
- Ronald Guintrange
- Christophe Hondelatte
- Rachid M'Barki
- Olivier Mazerolle
- Thomas Misrachi
- Stéphanie de Muru
- Schofield, Hugh (30 October 2014). "The channel that's spiced up French TV". BBC News Magazine.
- "Website BFM TV", retrieved 14 July 2012
- Delcambre, Alexis (19 March 2014). "Front national : le CSA rappelle à l’ordre BFMTV". Le Monde (in French).
- Boussaingault, Gilles (22 September 2014). "Christophe Hondelatte : « Ma dépression est derrière moi »". Le Figaro.
- Geffray, Émilie (1 November 2014). "Le salaire de Christophe Hondelatte à BFMTV dépend de son audience". Le Figaro (in French).
- Official Site and live streaming (French)
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