Christophe Sommet

Head of TF1’s Theme Channels division




What role should the TF1 group play in the ecological transition ?

A study carried out by Ushuaïa TV with IPSOS a few months ago showed that 92% of French people think the media have a major role to play in raising public awareness of environmental issues.

F1, as a major media outlet with a wide and varied target audience, has a duty to contribute to that awareness-raising and to give the public the tools to struggle against climate change in their own right.

In practice, how is that playing out across our various channels ?

In many ways! First, with the creation in 2005 of the Ushuaïa TV channel : a pioneer channel 100% dedicated to protecting the planet, whose editorial line is to highlight initiatives showing it is possible to change how people behave. And in TF1’s news bulletins an average of two stories a day deal with climate change. In January 2021, TF1 launched the Generation Ushuaïa show, which is on every Saturday morning at 10.45. Hosted by Fanny Agostini who presents the magazine En terre ferme on Ushuaïa TV, Generation Ushuaïa showcases Ushuaïa TV’s best documentaries and magazines on the TF1 flagship channel. These bridges with the free-to-air channel are designed to give Ushuaïa a mass market window. TFOU, TF1’s kids’ slot, carries special coverage every year during Sustainable Development Week and World Ocean Day to raise awareness of these topics among children. The issues of local food sourcing and healthy eating are tackled by the Ici tout commence soap, and in the short programme Petits plats en équilibre hosted by Laurent Mariotte.

On TMC, Quotidien has regular features on this theme, as does the journalist Martin Weill via documentaries like the one on the Amazonian rain forest. The channel was also highly active during Earth Day when it completely changed its schedules, including a screening of Cyril Dion’s film Demain alongside special programmes. Online, LCI offers a number of articles in its environment and ecology slot, as well as Sylvia Amicone’s Impact Positif podcasts. The TF1 group’s digital arm (UNIFY) offers Juste Mieux, a 100% engaged media outlet featuring people who are making things happen, and My Little Paris’s Greenletter.

And beyond the channels ?

We have developed a policy of forging partnerships with numerous NGOs and charities like the Nicolas Hulot Foundation, the GoodPlanet Foundation and the WWF, and with events like the latest On est prêt campaign and the Sparknews Fabrique des Récits campaigns that provide a showcase for all charities, groups or NGOs working for transition. We also offer them exposure on our channel by broadcasting their clips. We were present as Ushuaia TV at the World Conservation Congress in Marseille in early September 2021.

What future plans do you have ?

We are planning to launch a new media platform shortly, dedicated to solutions to support the world in ecological transition.

It will highlight very practical initiatives by entrepreneurs, start-ups and civil society. Aimed at a target audience of decision-makers, the channel will mainly carry documentaries but will also have a weekly feature about the actors of change. We will be relying heavily on Ushuaia TV’s expertise to source content. Unlike Ushuaia TV and other theme channels which are pay-per-view, the channel will be accessible on the web free of charge to around 12 million households.