Two factors have strongly impacted the top 100 television audiences in 2020 and 2021: the pandemic that has driven information to the highest level and SVOD services that have developed the French appetite for series. In 2021, the Top 100 of audiences places French fiction in the first step with almost half of the ranking and 46 places. The sport, after a year of stopping major competitions, obtained 18 places (including the 3 best audiences). The information occupies 17 places in 2021 with the presidential, government and JT speeches. Entertainment comes in fourth position with 15 seats.
Only 4 movies in the Top 100
As for cinema, it appears in the rear with only four films in the 2021 ranking. The 4 films were all broadcast by TF1 on a Sunday night, 3 are French films and one is American: “Le sens de la fête”, broadcast on January 24 in tribute to Jean-Pierre Bacri, it gathered 7.5 million viewers and ranks 33rd, the other three films are ranked at the bottom of the pack: “Jumanji, welcome to the jungle” points to the position 87 and achieved 6.3 million viewers, followed by “Return to my mother’s house” at position 88 and 6.3 million viewers. “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” occupies the last position in position 95 and also 6.3 million viewers in its fourth broadcast of free television.
Film offer growth since 2020
The presence of these 4 films hides a different statistical reality, as demonstrated by the recent publication by the CNC of the report: “Film distribution on television in 2020.”
In fact, after three consecutive years of decline from 2017 to 2019, the supply of films on television (free national channels and Canal +) increased in 2020 to 2,434 different cinematographic works broadcast (+112 titles compared to 2019, that is, + 4 , 8%). This increase is going to be paralleled by the health crisis where some channels have changed their offer, especially during the first confinement, which gave the cinema an additional exposure. In 2020, 37.9% of the films were programmed by the channels of public groups (France Télévisions, Arte and LCP-AN) that broadcast 922 works in 2020, that is, 77 films more than in 2019 (+9.1 %). The channels of private groups (group TF1, group M6, group NRJ, NextRadioTV, La Chaîne L’Equipe and the free channels of the Canal + group) programmed 1,109 different films in 2020 (+32 films compared to 2019, + 3.0% ), or 45.6% of the offer. Canal + offered an additional 20 titles in 2020 to 471 films, or 19.4% of the film supply on television. In addition to these dynamics, the CNC recalls that the cinema has benefited from greater visibility on television since August 2020.
However, the CNC explains that both the historical terrestrial networks and the TNT networks do not use all the slot machines available. In the first part of the evening, the channels have four weekly cinema spaces (seven spaces as of August 5, 2020). They usually only wear one or two on a regular basis. It should be noted that since 2016, M6 no longer has a regular cinema box (more than 30 films broadcast during the year). France 2 and TF1 offer a unique box in the first part of the night in 2020. The Sunday night box in the first part of the night is the most used by the historic channels and the Tuesday night box for the channels TNT. Arte (3 boxes) and Canal + (4 boxes) are the channels that offer the most boxes in the first part of the 2020 evening.
Pending the evaluation of the CNC for 2021, the evaluation of 2020 confirmed the disaffection of the free historical channels for cinema, in particular in the public service channels: in 2020, the cinematographic offer increased in the first part of the evening as a whole. Channels with 2,032 broadcasts (+24 retransmissions compared to 2019). This increase is driven by Canal + (+66 retransmissions compared to 2019). The cinematographic offer in the first part of the evening is reduced by 42 retransmissions on the national public channels and remains stable on the free private national channels. One would have thought that with the implementation of the decree of August 5, 2020 eliminating the prohibited days, the visibility and consumption of cinema on television would have changed. It was without counting the resurgence of French fiction that greatly seduced the public.
VOD as backup
Despite the relaxation of transmission methods, despite the increase in film programming linked to the pandemic, cinema on free-to-air television is no longer an attractive product for the public. However, the latter has many other legal sources to watch a movie before the 22 months that inaugurate the first free streaming window for these channels. This is the point of having a high-performance on-demand offering that, once past the cinema window, exhibits all the novelties but also the full depth of the film catalogs: according to the CNC, more than 25,200 films are available for purchase. . and more than 22,600 films are available for rent, offering the public the largest home video club in France.
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