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Banning Ads from Prime-Time State TV: Lessons from France


  • Lapo Filistrucchi

    (CentER and TILEC, Tilburg University and Department of Economics, University of Florence)

  • Andrea Mangani

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pisa)

  • Luigi Luini

    () (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Siena)


We analyse the effects of the advertising ban on French public television, which came into effect on the 5th of January 2009. The ban forbids commercial advertising on public TV in the time slot 20.00-6.00. By using a difference-in-difference approach we show that advertising which was previously broadcasted on public TV in the time slot 20.00-6.00 did not switch to private channels in the same time slot (nor did the price per second in that time slot on private channels rise). Rather advertising partly switched to public TV in the time slot 6.00-20.00. The trend away from aerial towards non-aerial TV channels continued but was not increased. The common expectation that the ban would favour private TV channels at the expense of public ones was therefore wrong. Interestingly, the relative audience of public to private TV did not tilt in favour of public TV. This suggests that advertising aversion is not the driving parameter at work. More likely, for advertisers, viewers of public TV in the slot 6.00-20.00 are closer substitutes for viewers of public TV in the slot 20.00-6.00 than are viewers of private TV channels in the slot 20.00-6.00.

Suggested Citation

  • Lapo Filistrucchi & Andrea Mangani & Luigi Luini, 2012. "Banning Ads from Prime-Time State TV: Lessons from France," Working Papers 12-23, NET Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1223

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jiekai ZHANG, 2016. "The impact of advertising length caps on TV: Evidence from the French broadcast TV industry," Working Papers 16-06, NET Institute.
    2. Crawford, Gregory S. & Deer, Lachlan & Smith, Jeremy & Sturgeon, Paul, 2017. "The Regulation of Public Service Broadcasters: Should there be more advertising on television?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12428, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Charles Angelucci & Julia Cage, 2015. "Newspapers in Times of Low Advertising Revenues," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/26t617gatp8, Sciences Po.

    More about this item


    Keywords: two-sided markets; media; advertising regulation; television; public service broadcasting;

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection

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