Major French chains take radically different approaches.
HThe mission was shortened on TF1 in favor of the rebroadcast of “Visitors”, the “code-breaking” special digital effects of France 2: This presidential election has rendered the traditional election evenings and their endless debates obsolete, which seem to wear down the audience.
“It’s a distinctly outdated format, just because the news channels are already giving constant feedback. So big chains don’t really add value if they do the same thing,” political communication expert Philippe Moreau Chevrolet told AFP ahead of Sunday’s first round.
In the face of this remark, TF1 made an impression by declaring at the end of March that it would not devote all Sunday evening to the presidential election, a remarkable precedent.
At 9:30 pm, he will rebroadcast the movie “Visitors”, which has been a huge hit with audiences with every television appearance. “Viewers’ uses, tastes, and expectations have evolved,” explained Thierry Theillier, TF1 Group’s Deputy General Manager Information, at the time of the announcement.
“As the leading channel (…) we consider that in the hot part of the hour and a half (of the adoption of results at 8 p.m., editor’s note), we may have provided all the facts, findings, feedback and comments,” he continued. After 9:30 PM, election night will continue on LCI, the TF1 group’s news channel.
On France 2, the question “at no time has arisen” about shortening the evening to broadcast a film, on Tuesday the national editorial director of France Television, Michel Dumaurit, swore to show the device on the two towers. But he admitted that “we obviously have to rediscover ourselves in writing” for these evenings.
For this, France 2 wants to “break the codes” by betting on a new scenography, believed to be somewhat similar to the show, and on digital innovations. The center of the evenings of the two towers will not be the usual studio, but the gigantic auditorium of the France Télévisions building. A temporary theater was built there, topped with a hanging camera like those normally used for sports broadcasts.
This will make it possible to play with the enormous space of the hall and the attic corridors that surround it, by incorporating special digital effects into this decor (eg to present candidates, their scores or other digital data). “We will be building information (…), setting the scene, telling stories and learning with this tool,” stated Arnaud Vincenti, Technical Director of Information at France Télévisions. “It’s a way to rejuvenate our viewers, and to attract a new audience,” according to Mr. Dumoret.
The other two major public interest channels France 3 and M6 will conclude their first round at 8:50 PM and 9:10 PM, broadcasting the “Brokenwood” series and the movie “Astérix et Obélix: au service de sa Majesté” respectively.
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