|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Sister channels||France 2|
|Launched||31 December 1972|
|Former names||La Troisième Chaîne Couleur (1972–1975)|
FR3 or France Régions 3 (1975–1992)
|TNT in Overseas France||Channels 3, 4, or 5|
It is made up of a network of regional television services providing daily news programming and around ten hours of entertainment and cultural programming produced for and about the regions each week. The channel also broadcasts various national programming and national and international news from Paris. The channel was known as France Régions 3 (FR3) until its official replacement by France 3 in September 1992.
On March 22, 1969, the government mentioned a plan to create a third national television channel. Jean-Louis Guillaud, attached to the Office of the President of the Republic, coordinated the preparatory studies for its launch from November 1969. This new national channel of the French Television Broadcasting Office (ORTF) was to be launched directly in color and to allow better exposure of the regional offices of the ORTF through many opt-outs and through the decentralized production of the channel's programmes. The ORTF implemented this project throughout 1972 in the form of a national and interregional channel in color, without advertising or continuity announcers (although out-of-vision announcers were later introduced), offering shorter evenings at different times compared to the other two channels, with a majority of cultural programs, and relying largely on the technical and editorial relays of its regional stations. To accomplish this, the Board is setting up several heavy production centers within its main regional stations to produce programming for the new channel. The most important are those of Télé Marseille-Provence, Télé-Lille and Télé-Lyon. The third channel thus responds to the main concern of reform law no. 72-5534 of 3 July 1972 on the status of the ORTF, which aims to introduce the decentralization of production and the devolution of decisions on programs the Office.
The third color channel (La Troisième Chaîne Couleur) of the ORTF started its operations on December 31, 1972 at 7 pm with its start-up theme, which was gollowed by the CEO of the ORTF, Arthur Conte, and the general manager of the channel, Jean-Louis Guillaud, who present their wishes to the French for this new channel and for the year to come, calling on the ORTF's regional television services and aspiring young staff to join the new network, and then followed by Jean Amadou welcoming the viewers to briefly explain to them what will distinguish this new channel from the two others, in particular in its colorful, dynamic design and the introduction of genre credits before each programme, in order to replace the announcers, and which are all the work of stylist Catherine Chaillet. Then, the first program, Jeunes années, a program for young people, was launched with the cartoon Roulotte, followed at 8:35 p.m. by the inaugural evening of the channel consisting of a variety show written by Maurice Horgues, Jean Amadou and Robert Rocca, directed by Dirk Sanders and produced by the Lille8 production center and whose national sponsor is the singer Anne-Marie David, chosen by the CEO of the Office.
The director general of the third color channel, Jean-Louis Guillaud, decides to make extensive use of the regional stations of the ORTF and young directors for the production of the programs, because the third channel intends to prove itself as a new channel regions and cinema, using state-of-the-art techniques and high-quality graphics. The original project, which planned to rely on the cultural and artistic actors of the regions within the framework of the long-awaited decentralization within the Office, in fact comes down to a simple deconcentration of resources of production, regional television remaining confined to the little space granted in the opt-outs of the national service.
For the first time, the candidates of the second round of the presidential election of 1974, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and François Mitterrand, agree to confront each other verbally in a televised debate, arbitrated by Jacqueline Baudrier and Alain Duhamel and broadcast on May 10, 1974 simultaneously on the three ORTF television channels.
Audiovisual reform law no. 74-696 of August 7, 197410 suppressed the ORTF and created seven independent bodies, including three national television program companies. It came into effect on January 1, 1975 and the third ORTF channel closed its antenna on January 5, 1975 at 9:40 p.m. to make way the next day for the new national program company France Regions 3 (FR3).
For lack of a complete network on this date of January 5, 1975, a good part of France has have known the programs of the ORTF's third channel. Throughout its run, broadcasts were restricted to three hours each evening and only reached a potential audience of 26% of the population – its transmissions primarily covered Paris, the Ile-de-France and Northern regions.
In 1974, the new President of the Republic Valéry Giscard d'Estaing asked his Prime Minister to present a communication on the French Television Broadcasting Office to the Council of Ministers on July 3. Jacques Chirac then assures that “the new organization must be based on competition between autonomous units, fully responsible. It must ensure free and open information, must exclude any waste by relying on streamlined structures. The reports of the State and of the new autonomous units should be limited to the designation of its leaders”. Law No. 74-696 of August 7, 1974 abolished the ORTF and created seven independent bodies, including three national television program companies, a national sound broadcasting company, two public industrial and commercial companies responsible for the production and broadcasting and a national audiovisual institute. The state monopoly is maintained and each of the companies is placed under the supervision of the Prime Minister. The Office's television director, Claude Contamine, was appointed by the Council of Ministers as president of the future national television program company to succeed the ORTF's third channel. The choice of a manager from the seraglio responds to the already well-defined face of the future third channel in the law of August 7, article 10 of which specifies that "one of the national companies reserves a privileged place for the programming of films on television”. This point is also clearly written into the specifications of the national program company France Régions 3, which makes it not only the channel aimed at the regions, but above all the channel of cinema and fiction in the broad sense, FR3 in front should devote more than half of its evenings to the airing of films and TV films. This new national television program company is also responsible for managing and developing the regional radio and television centers created by the Office (22 regional stations and 29 radio centers governed by 11 metropolitan directorates and a DOM-TOM directorate managing 9 stations in French overseas territories). We then count on the productions of the 22 regional stations, then equivalent to 35 minutes of regional television per day.
Law no. 74-696 of August 7, 1974 came into force on January 1, 1975 with the official birth of the three national television program companies Télévision française 1 (TF1), Antenne 2 (A2) and France Régions 3 (FR3), the national sound broadcasting company Radio France, the French Production Company (SFP), Télédiffusion de France (TDF) and the National Audiovisual Institute (INA).
On Monday January 6, 1975 at 6:55 pm, France Régions 3 begins its operations with a program schedule similar in all respects to that of the former third channel. The channel broadcasts only four hours of programs a day and devotes only five minutes to its inaugural broadcast this evening of January 6 to make way for the film Peau d'âne by Jacques Demy.
TDF activates the FR3 transmitters at 2 pm, a paradox because the channel then broadcasts both the target and its own programs. Until the arrival of a 24-hour broadcast, TDF will broadcast FIP as background music from 1975 to 2000 on network 3, then France Info until 2002.
FR3 programs are mainly devoted to cinema, debates and regional stalls. The cinema channel, FR3 participates as a co-producer and for a sum of 5,450,000 francs in the development of the seventh art. Following complaints from movie theater owners, who are concerned about unfair competition, Claude Contamine negotiates with the Film Industry Liaison Office (BLIC) to remove the movies from Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, as well as twelve film showings on Wednesday evenings while in return creating a film club slot on Sunday evenings in the second half of the evening. The agreement was finalized on January 16, 1976 and Cinéma de minuit was on the air two months later.
On September 1, 1975, an agreement was signed between the two national program companies FR3 and TF1 to allow the latter, which inherited the first black and white VHF network in 819 lines, to be able to broadcast its programs in color. FR3 agrees to make available the color broadcasting network to TF1 reserved for it for regular transmissions in the afternoon until the start of its own programs at 6 p.m. In return, the agreement provides for TF1 to employ the regional production centers for FR33. The overseas station FR3-Comores became FR3 Mayotte on December 14, 1975 following the declaration of independence of the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros. With the gradual appearance of more specifically regional television content in 1976, the State very slowly undertook the administrative and economic regionalization of French territory, where regional stations gradually entered into this new framework.
FR3 must separate from its overseas broadcasting station of the French Territory of the Afars and Issas on June 27, 1977 following the declaration of independence of the Republic of Djibouti, although its still appeared highlighted in the channel's start-up sequence.
On the programming front, the network's first national news programme was introduced in 1978 in the form of Soir 3, a late night national and international bulletin. 21 October 1981 saw FR3 begin regular live coverage of ministers' questions in the National Assembly. Advertising was introduced to the network in January 1983. By September 1983, the twelve broadcasting centres around the country were airing an average of 3 hours per day of regional output. Popular programming on Saturday night included the first airings of the American soap opera Dynasty and a Disney Channel strand. National and regional news at peak time was integrated into a new nightly programme, 19|20, launched on 6 May 1986.
On May 5, 1981, the debate between Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and François Mitterrand for the second round of the presidential election, arbitrated by Jean Boissonnat and Michèle Cotta was broadcast simultaneously on TF1, Antenne 2 and FR3.
Although it had long denounced the grip of power on television, the left, which came to power on May 10, 1981, in turn used this habit of interventionism to appoint new presidents to head the national television program companies more won over to his ideas and who are themselves responsible for cleaning up their channel of broadcasts, journalists and presenters suspected of acquaintances with the former majority. Thus, journalist Guy Thomas was appointed president of FR3 on June 24, 1981. He appointed Serge Moati to program management with the idea of strengthening the cultural and regional character of the channel.
Law no. 82-652 of July 29, 1982 on audiovisual communication suppresses the State monopoly and recreates by decree no. 82-790 of September 17, 19824 the national color television company France Regions 3 which is now the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication, which draws up the specifications, monitors competition rules and appoints the channel's president. Guy Thomas is not confirmed in his post by the new supervisory authority which appoints André Holleaux in his place. Alongside the administrative decentralization law, the 1982 law provides for a large decentralization of radio and television. To do this, FR3 ceases to be the operator of the 29 regional radio centers which are transferred to Radio-France and also loses its overseas audiovisual activities in FR3 DOM-TOM to the benefit of the new national program company RFO which had to be created for this purpose.
Similarly, the text of the law provides for the creation of twelve regional television companies, with the same programming and management powers as the national company, with their own board of directors whose president would be appointed by the High Authority. The law also provides for an increase in the share of regional programs on the air, which must go from thirty-five minutes to one hour per day5, which requires an increase in the FR3 budget of approximately 220 million francs which, according to the direction of the chain, could be covered by the opening of the antenna to the publicity of mark whose income is estimated at 250 million francs. On January 1, 1983, the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication authorized brand advertising on the national FR3 network up to 250 million francs per year (i.e. 10% of the combined revenue of TF1 and Antenne 2), although the plan of decentralization in 1982 is slowed down by the authorities, in particular because of the poor results for the majority in the municipal elections of 1983. staff of the three public channels, which the license fee alone is no longer sufficient to finance. Regionalization is at the heart of the specifications set by the High Authority for the channel in 1984. It thus limits the number of film broadcasts per year to 170, identical to TF1 and Antenne 2, which means that FR3 its specificity as a cinema channel in favor of the future new private channel Canal+, leaving it only its regional specificity, and authorizes brand advertising on the regional antennas of FR3.
On May 6, 1986, FR3 changed its look and changed its program schedule by starting at 9 am, instead of 5pm as it was until then, and by putting on the air a new local information program, with national and international headlines, named 19/20 created and presented by Henri Sannier with Ghislaine Ottenheimer. The in-vision announcers also made their appearance the same year.
In 1986, the then government of Jacques Chirac put forward the proposal of privatising one of the three public television companies. The original suggestion was to transform FR3 into a private body, however the final decision was that of TF1. The broadcasting authority at the time, the CNCL, appointed Rene Han to become programme controller of FR3, with the result that the networked programmes took an even more highbrow and cultural focus.
Changes to the schedule included a supplementary Friday night edition of Thalassa- le magazine de la mer whilst an opera was televised every Wednesday night. Popular quiz show Questions pour un champion made its broadcasting début in November 1988. La Classe, an entertainment programme which replaced Les Jeux de 20 heures and followed 19|20, was also introduced. Having launched without utilising speakerines, the network introduced in-vision announcers in September 1987 and retained live continuity until 1993, a year after TF1 and France 2 had abandoned in-vision presentation.
At the turn of the decade, the French television landscape which had been previously dominated by the three public stations now consisted of a strong private sector in the form of TF1 and Canal+ and the now-fragmented public sector of Antenne 2 and FR3. In 1990, the State, through the Conseil Supérieure de l'Audiovisuel (CSA), decided to merge the separate public entities into a new corporation.
At the same time, FR3 was already closing down on Saturday afternoons to allow nine hours of airtime to the educational station La Sept, airing from 3pm to midnight. The arrangement continued until 1992 when the launch of the Franco-German network Arte led to the broadcaster's demise. On FR3 itself, the network aired current affairs programming on Saturday mornings including Continentales and L'Eurojournal, both presented by Alex Taylor.
On 7 September 1992, FR3 and Antenne 2 were reunified in the new France Télévisions entity and rebranded as France 3 and France 2 respectively. Their logos match to the French flag like TF1. In 1998, France 3 partnered with TPS to launch a satellite station called Régions.
Under the direction of France Télévisions chairman Patrick de Carolis and director of channels Patrice Duhamel, October 2006 saw the introduction of a new daily cultural programme called Ce soir (ou jamais!) presented by Frederic Taddei, marking a new, more cultural focus to the network's programming. The late night news programme Soir 3 was given a new, fixed timeslot of 11 pm.
On 5 January 2009 all on-air advertising on France Télévisions, (including France 3) between 20:00 and 06:00 was eliminated, meaning the traditional start of primetime viewing in France of 20:45 was brought forward by ten minutes to 20:35.
Logo of FR3 from 6 January 1975 till 6 April 1986
Logo of France 3 from 7 September 1992 till 7 January 2002
Logo of France 3 from 7 January 2002 till 7 April 2008
Logo of France 3 from 7 April 2008 till 29 January 2018
Logo of France 3 HD, 2010-2018
Logo of France 3 from 29 January 2018
On-screen logo of France 3 from 29 January 2018
France 3 is a general entertainment channel whose mission is to deliver domestic and regional programming, offering cultural and educational advantages. Its local and regional vocation has been assured by its new mission statement. (" Elle doit privileger l'information décentralisée et les événements régionaux ")Translated it reads:
'It must promote local news and regional events and to introduce and familiarise the different regions of France and Europe and "to give space to our lively spectacles".'
France 3 was originally based at 13–15 rue Cognacq-Jay in Paris, which housed the television services of the former Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF).
Since TF1 became independent from the ORTF, FR3 was based at the Maison de la Radio in the 16th arrondissement of Paris with its editorial base located at 28 Cours Albert 1er in the 8th arrondissement.
In 1998, France 3 moved to a new base at 7 Esplanade Henri de France in the 15th arrondissement. This also houses the rest of France Télévisions' operations. The headquarters are accessible by taking RER Line C to Boulevard Victor.
France 3 has fewer audience constraints compared with sister channel France 2, with the latter being the flagship public channel. This allows France 3 to concentrate on specialist and cultural programming.
There are three weekday newscasts broadcast as part of the channel's schedule:
A typical edition of 12|13 consists of national news headlines at 11:45 followed by an Outre-Mer bulletin from the studios of RFO Paris at 11:50. The regional opt-out bulletins (midi-pile) air at noon, followed by the national news from 12:25–12:55 CET.
A typical edition of 19|20 opens with a short summary of the national and regional headlines. This is then followed by an opt-out for either regional news or local features, with the main regional news airing after this at 19:00. The national news concludes the programming block at 19:30.
Previously, a 15-minute programme, launched in July 2010 called 18:30 Aujourd'hui opened the 19|20 news sequence, presenting the leading news stories from France 3's regional news bureaux. It was cancelled in September 2011, with the regional round-up moving to the 12|13 news programme.
Soir 3, broadcast every night at 22:30 CET, is the network's late night news programme, presented by Francis Letellier (ad interim) on weeknights and Sandrine Aramon at weekends.
On 5 January 2009, the programme began to incorporate a 5-minute regional news opt-out as part of a revamp of France 3's schedule to accommodate the end of prime-time advertising.
One of France 3's most well-known programmes is Plus belle la vie, a recurring soap opera based in the fictional neighbourhood of Mistral, Marseille. The show has garnered critical acclaim within France and commands one of the highest viewing figures for the channel.
Quiz shows make up an important part of the channel's schedule. Word and numbers game Des chiffres et des lettres and general knowledge show Questions pour un Champion both make regular appearances in the daytime.
Other well-known programmes are personality talk show Vie privée, vie publique, (Private life, public life), Thalassa, a programme about all things concerning the sea, magazine show Des racines et des ailes and children's science show C'est pas sorcier. Cookery and home-improvement shows also feature, with Côté Cuisine, Côté Jardin and A Table!. Live music shows also feature weekly. Taratata focuses on rock music, whilst Chabada rediscovers forgotten French pop songs. A selection of these programmes are also broadcast internationally, via TV5Monde.
Other children programmes is Les Minikeums, the first long-running programmes that introduces the marionettes. Until 1st April 2002, T O 3 , one of the first children's programs produced entirely in computer-generated images, and the show presented by Theo and Luna, two virtual characters. Then after 30 August 2004, France Truc , the show presented by Truc, Truque, and Truk, three robotic animated characters, and Toowam , and later Ludo, the second and third long-running programmes, which there's only voice announcers.
Amongst the acquired programmes screened by France 3, British dramas feature prominently. The popular detective dramas A Touch of Frost, Lewis, Inspector George Gently, and Midsomer Murders are shown and have different title names, such as Inspecteur Frost, Inspecteur Lewis, and Inspecteur Barnaby.
From its historical origins, the Third Channel has utilised regional editorial and production centres which were developed since 1963 and owned by the ORTF.
The regional centres are often grouped in two levels – two half-hour news programmes and a short late night bulletin are produced and broadcast each day (in many cases, separate bulletins are produced for various parts of the region). The centres also produce shorter, more localised news bulletins for broadcast within 19|20. For example, France 3 Nord Pas-de-Calais Picardie produces localised bulletins for Côte d'Opale, Lille Métropole and Picardy. Various sport, features, current affairs and entertainment programming produced for and about the regions are also broadcast.
13 regional stations make up the network. Between them, the stations provide 24 sub-regional services, whose broadcast areas approximately match the 22 former metropolitan régions of France (the exceptions being that Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Rhône-Alpes are sub-divided into two). Each sub-regional news service emanates from a distinct centre of production. In addition, the stations provide 42 more localised news opt-outs.
|No.||Region name||Area served||News regions||Centres of production|
|1.||France 3 Alsace||Grand Est||1||Strasbourg|
|2.||France 3 Aquitaine||Nouvelle-Aquitaine||1||Bordeaux|
|3.||France 3 Bourgogne Franche-Comté||Bourgogne-Franche-Comté||2||Dijon, Besançon|
|4.||France 3 Corse||Corsica||1||Ajaccio|
|5.||France 3 Lorraine Champagne-Ardenne||Grand Est||2||Nancy, Reims|
|6.||France 3 Méditerranée||Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur||2||Marseille, Antibes|
|7.||France 3 Nord Pas-de-Calais Picardie||Hauts-de-France||2||Lille, Amiens|
|8.||France 3 Normandie||Normandy||2||Caen, Rouen|
|9.||France 3 Ouest||Brittany, Pays de la Loire||2||Rennes, Nantes|
|10.||France 3 Paris Île-de-France||Île-de-France (including Paris), Centre-Val de Loire||2||Vanves, Orléans|
|11.||France 3 Limousin||Nouvelle-Aquitaine||1||Limoges|
|11.||France 3 Poitou-Charentes||Nouvelle-Aquitaine||1||Poitiers|
|12.||France 3 Rhône Alpes Auvergne||Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes||3||Lyon, Grenoble, Clermont-Ferrand|
|13.||France 3 Sud||Occitanie||2||Toulouse, Montpellier|
Some news reports sourced from France 3 Ouest were aired by Channel Television for the now-defunct weekly news programme Rendezvous Dimanche. In Belgium, local programming from France 3 Nord Pas-de-Calais Picardie has been known to receive twice the number of viewers than in its intended coverage area.
Within the main 19|20 programming block and depending on where the viewer receives France 3 via terrestrial transmitters, local opt-out bulletins (some live, some pre-recorded) concentrating on specific communautés are aired. The ten-minute opts air at around 1845 CET before the main regional news.
|France 3 région||Sub-region||Number of opt-outs||Bulletins||News bureaux|
|Alsace||21||Strasbourg Deux-Rives, Haute-Alsace||Strasbourg, Mulhouse|
|Aquitaine||4||Pays Basque, Pau Sud-Aquitaine, Périgords, Bordeaux Métropole||Bayonne, Pau, Périgueux, Bordeaux|
|Limousin Poitou-Charentes||Limousin||2||Limoges, Pays de Corrèze||Limoges, Brive-la-Gaillarde|
|Lorraine Champagne-Ardenne||Lorraine||2||Metz, Nancy||Metz, Nancy|
|Méditerranée||Provence-Alpes||2||Marseille, Var||Marseille, Toulon|
|Nord Pas-de-Calais Picardie||Nord Pas-de-Calais||2||Côte d'Opale, Lille Métropole||Boulogne-sur-Mer, Lille|
|Normandie||Upper Normandy||2||Baie-de-Seine, Rouen Métropole||Le Havre, Rouen|
|Lower Normandy||2||7 jours en Cotentin (weekly), Caen Métropole||Cherbourg, Caen|
|Ouest||Pays de la Loire||2||Estuaire, Maine||Nantes, Le Mans|
|Brittany||25||Upper Brittany, Iroise||Rennes, Brest|
|Paris Île-de-France Centre||Paris Île-de-France||06|
|Centre||3||Orléans Loiret, Touraine Val de Loire, Berry||Orléans, Tours, Déols|
|Rhône-Alpes Auvergne||Rhône-Alpes||2||Saint-Étienne, Grand Lyon||Saint-Étienne, Lyon|
|Sud||Midi-Pyrénées||3||Toulouse, Quercy-Rouergue, Tarn||Toulouse, Rodez, Albi|
|Languedoc-Roussillon||37||Montpellier, Pays Catalan, Pays Gardois||Montpellier, Perpignan, Nîmes|
France 3 also produces and airs programmes regionally for the various regional languages of France. Outside of regional news bulletins, France 3 also airs general interest programmes in the target language.
Regional programming in the Occitan language started sporadically, with 15 minutes daily of news reports. After audience protests, by 1982 the time devoted to the language rose to over 3 hours weekly.
Programmes in the Breton language started with a daily news bulletin from predecessor RTF Télé-Bretagne.
Despite having special status as a semi-autonomous region, only 40 minutes per week are devoted to the Corsican language. The first programme in Corsican was in 1966 and was a weekly poetry reading from a Corsican-language school.
Since the creation of its predecessor RTF Télé-Strasbourg, there have been sporadic programmes in the Alsatian language. By 1974 there was a weekly show of 45 minutes, in 1989 Rund Um, a magazine programme aired its first episode. After the merger of France 2 and France 3 into France Télévisions, France 3 Alsace has financed an Alsatian version of animated series Tintin.
Chairmen and chief executive officers:
Ludo was France Télévisions' youth brand accompanying animation series for children from 6 years old. It aired on France 3, France 4 and France 5 from 2009 to 2019. It was officially replaced by Okoo.