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TV in Brittany Speaks Celtic.

The Celts (or rather their progeny in France called Bretons) have their own TV. Recently in Lorient, on the Brittany coast, the first bilingual TV station was introduced. TV Breizh boasts two channels, one in Breton and one in French, with the programs distributed via cable TV throughout the country.

The initiative stemmed from Patrick Le Lay, president of TF1, which is controlled by the Bouygues group. Part of the group is Francois Pinault, one of the richest men in France. Both Le Lay and Pinault are of Breton origin. Pinault is TV Breizh's primary shareholder with 27 percent and TF1 is second with 22 percent. The capital amounts to $15 million and the annual budget is $13 million.

Le Lay is studying the language of his ancestors and he confessed that it is time to break Jacobin Centralism. "Breton doesn't need to receive special treatment," explained Le Lay, "but clearly not all problems can be resolved in Paris or in Brussels. In every European country, politics cannot escape a reflection on the organization of different powers, international, national and regional." However, "Outs is not a political maneuver," says Rozenn Milin, TV Breizh's director. "We want to entertain and inform." Le Lay and Pinault are anything but extremists -- in fact, they lean toward the right (Pinault is a friend of French President Jacques Chirac).

The channel debut took place with great pomp and circumstance. The grand marshal was Patrick Povire d'Arvor, also of Breton origin, who is a nightly news anchor on TF1.

The station's schedule includes games, weather, children's programs (in Breton of course), regional and national news, films and series. TV Breizh plans to dub Hollywood hits in Breton. Special attention will be given to ethnic ties, including programs about Claude Chabrol and the Brittany region and Irish-American filmmaker John Huston. The three main magazine programs focus on the earth, the ocean and sports.
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Title Annotation:bilingual TV station
Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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