Address by Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, on the occasion of the signing of the inter-professional agreements between digital terrestrial television, cable and satellite channels, audiovisual producers and authors, concluded, rue de Valois, this Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for being here.

There are symbols that speak, that mark.

I note that the signing of agreements between the authors, the
DTT, cable and satellite channels, which have
place today are held, exactly one year, day for day, after
agreements with analog channels.

And it is also the day of the publication, in the official journal, of the decree concerning analog channels.
October 22 is therefore a fetish date for audiovisual creation.
I am particularly pleased to welcome you because you know the importance I attach to the conclusion of inter-professional agreements with DTT channels, which are a part of the digital future of television.
It had become necessary to review the 2001 decree concerning them.

Indeed, these DTT channels are meeting with audience success; they are therefore engines of economic growth; and therefore they are also likely to give a new impetus to audiovisual creation tomorrow, alongside the so-called historic channels.

I would really like to commend the role of David Kessler and Dominique Richard, who, by their qualities well known to everyone here, made possible the negotiation that led to this agreement. It was not easy. The mediators effectively accompanied her. I thank them very much.

And, of course, I would like to stress the exemplary nature of this negotiation: all producers, authors and broadcasters, beyond their differences, spoke to each other, exchanged their positions in a frank but always constructive way.

The wisdom of all has resulted in balanced agreements that take into account the economic fragilities of DTT broadcasters, which should not be underestimated despite their dynamism. But they also reflect an ambition in terms of cultural diversity and creation to which I am particularly attached, as I have already had the opportunity to say, particularly in Lussas for the documentary, and in La Rochelle for fiction.

In fact, these agreements now establish obligations for the signatory channels to commission heritage works, that is, fiction, documentary, animation, video music and live performances.

The economic crisis that does not spare the audiovisual sector raises fears and apprehensions about the vitality of our production of audiovisual works. These concerns, which I listen to carefully, are legitimate. The interest of agreements such as the ones you are signing today is to open up a real prospect of developing the
production of heritage works for years to come.

I am full of hope for the future of French creation. Television viewers will always be at the table with television creation, provided it is innovative and of high quality, because together we must meet the challenge of renewing television audiences.

Innovation, imagination and inventiveness are the antidote to the crisis. The continued creation of an audiovisual heritage is the strength of all French audiovisual actors. At least that is the objective I set for myself, that I propose to you to achieve, and believe that I will put all my strength, my will and my energy into it.

With this signature, a cycle of recasting of the audiovisual creative contract that unites authors, producers and broadcasters, with the advent of digital television, ends.