France 4

France 4 (pronounced [fʁɑ̃s katʁ]) is a French free-to-air television channel owned by France Télévisions, focused on entertainment programming. Originally launched as Festival, the channel took its current name in 2005 to match that of the other France Télévisions channels. The colour of France 4 is purple.

France 4
Launched31 March 2005 (2005-03-31)
Owned byFrance Télévisions
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Slogan4 fois plus ensemble (4 times more together)
Formerly calledFestival (1996-2005)
Sister channel(s)France 2
France 3
France 5
France Ô
Digital terrestrial televisionChannel 14
CanalsatChannel 63
Ziggo (Netherlands)TV Française Ziggo App Channel 5 (HD)
CanalsatChannel 63


Festival (1996-2005)

On 24 June 1996, France Télévision established Festival, a satellite channel for the TPS satellite service, which France Télévision co-owned at the time. Festival offered a selection of films and television series, many of them previously seen on France 2, France 3 and Arte.

France 4 (2001-present)

In 2001, when the French digital terrestrial television system was in its developmental stage, the socialist government of Lionel Jospin asked the president of France Télévisions to consider a bouquet of public channels to be broadcast digitally, so that the public broadcaster could have involvement in this project. France Télévisions proposed the creation of three new channels: "France 1", "France 4" and "France 6", an all-news channel, a channel dedicated to the regions, and a channel featuring repeat broadcasts of France 2 and France 3.

Eventually, France Télévisions would have four digital channels besides France 2 and France 3, with three of them occupying existing channels: France 5 (now 24 hours a day), Arte (also 24 hours a day) and La Chaîne Parlementaire, a legislative channel owned in part by France Télévisions. France Télévisions thus only had space for one more new channel. The group eventually proposes the existing "Festival" to be the "new" channel. On October 23, 2002, the Audiovisual Superior Council authorised Festival to appear in digital. France Télévisions planned for Festival to be renamed "France 8" (as it would have been the eighth television network in France) or "France Prime", but opted instead for France 4, as the group had channels named France 2, France 3 and France 5, but until now, not "France 4" (despite the fact that Canal+ was France's fourth channel, and seen on many outlets on channel 4). The newly created France 4 proposed to present a variety of entertainment, sports, fiction, cinema and series.

Since July 2009, France 4 began broadcasting in 16:9. On 6 October 2011, France 4 launched its own HD feed.

In June 2018, a proposal was issued to shut down France 4 as part of planned reforms of France Télévisions, with programming dispersed to France 5 and digital platforms. The proposal was criticised by France's animation industry.[1]

Audience share

January February March April May June July August September October November December Annual average
20080.6%0.6%0.7%0.8%0.9%0.8%0.9%0.9%0.9%1.1%1.1%1.1% 0.9%
20091.0%1.0%1.0%1.0%1.1%1.0%1.0%1.0%1.0%1.2%1.2%1.3% 1.1%
20101.4%1.4%1.6%1.7%1.7%1.6%1.5%1.5%1.6%1.7%1.7%1.8% 1.6%
20111.7%1.7%1.8%1.8%2.0%2.1%2.0%2.1%2.0%1.9%2.0%2.3% 2.0%
20122.3%2.2%2.0%2.0%2.3%2.2%2.0%2.2%2.1%2.0%2.0%1.9% 2.1%
20131.7%1.6%1.6%1.7%2.0%1.9%1.8%1.8%1.7%1.9%1.7%1.7% 1.8%
20141.7%1.6%1.7%1.5%1.6%1.5%1.6%2.1%1.6%1.5%1.3%1.4% 1.6%
20151.5%1.6%1.6%1.7%1.7%1.7%1.8%1.8%1.8%1.9%1.6%1.9% 1.7%
20161.9%1.9%1.9%2.0%2.0%1.7%2.0%2.1%1.8%2.0%1.8%1.9% 1.9%
20171.9%1.8%1.7%1.7%1.8%2.0%2.1%1.9%1.8%1.7%1.5%1.5% 1.8%

Visual identity



  • 1996: "La chaîne des films de prestige" (The channel for prestigious movies)
  • 2005: "Le plaisir avant tout" (Pleasure above all)
  • 2011: "Elle n'a pas fini de vous surprendre" (It didn't finish surprising you)
  • 2011: "Stimulant sans arômes artificiels" (Stimulant without artificial flavors)
  • October 2012: "L'esprit positif" (Positive spirit)

See also


  1. Keslassy, Elsa (2018-06-06). "French Animation Industry Dismayed by Proposed Broadcasting Reforms". Variety. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
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