Here is the news in seven languages

23rd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

Billed as a rival to CNN and the BBC, EuroNews covers world news from a European perspective in seven languages. After a few bumpy years, EuroNews chief Philippe Cayla tells Hanns-Jochen Kaffsack about his expansion plans.

EuroNews began as a media experiment 12 years ago, billed as a competitor to CNN but using a variety of European languages to broadcast news to and about the continent.

EuroNews has more than 8 million viewers daily

The cable and satellite television broadcaster based in Lyons suffered teething troubles and financial restrictions at the outset but has managed to expand its programmes and its reach over the years.

"The difficult times are behind us. In 2004 we were able to declare a profit for the first time since 2000 on a turnover of EUR 33 million," says EuroNews chief Philippe Cayla.

"And 2005 is intended to be the year of new shareholders, the expansion of our services to the east and into new media segments," he adds.

However, Cayla immediately acknowledges that an early disappointment remains a bitter pill for the enterprise. None of the German public broadcasters are active in EuroNews, whether as member or as investor.

Currently there are 19 public broadcasters carrying EuroNews programmes to more than 154 million homes in 82 countries, in Europe, Africa, Central Asia and North America.

"EuroNews is Europe’s news channel covering world news from a European perspective in a choice of seven languages", is how the service sees itself.

*quote1*It also regards itself as a "basic medium for travellers", as a comprehensive provider of news via the internet through its website, and is rapidly expanding its services to mobile phone users.

"We are primarily, however, the most widely used pan-regional news broadcaster in Europe," Cayla says.

"With more than eight million viewers daily in Europe we are ahead of CNN, CNBC and the others," he adds.

EuroNews has 250 staff based in Lyon, 160 of them journalists, who broadcast programmes in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

EuroNews management aims to provide better quality and greater quantity. It relies to a large extent on the material and correspondent networks of the major public broadcasters that are its members.

EuroNews chief Philippe Cayla is on an expansion course

"But we do have our own correspondent in Brussels now and are increasingly making our own productions," Cayla says.

"And we are already providing EuroNews video footage for half the broadcast with the aim of increasing this. The plan is to do more of our own interviews and to offer magazine programmes," he adds.

The EuroNews head is in talks with the European Union and is cooperating with the European Space Agency on space flight broadcasts.

"We are, after all, a functioning European institution. What we do is good for Europe's image in the world," he says.

EuroNews already has a presence in India but is looking to expand in other Asian countries.

Cayla believes that Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Turkey could become new members of the EuroNews family, with the aim of broadcasting in even more languages from Lyon.

And he has not given up hope that one of the major German broadcasters will join to add weight to the enterprise.

But the chances in Britain are slim, as EuroNews and BBC World are direct competitors.

February 2005

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Life in Germany, television, broadcasting

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