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Guide to TV and radio in France

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

I was wondering whether you might suggest any French TV series that you would like. French TV and radio are great resources for learning about everything from international productions to local news and weather.

If you are an ex-pat living in France, turning on the TV or radio may transport you to a whole other culture. You could be surprised by the quality of local programming, and you will pick up some local terminology. You will be able to learn not just the slang of the locals, but also some of the lingo that is often used in everyday situations.

However, you will need to become acquainted with the different options accessible to you if you want to mix up your pleasure by seeing shows from both France and other nations. We hope our guide to French television and radio will be helpful, therefore we have included the following sections:


Are you on the hunt for a great deal on French and international entertainment like as sports events and concerts? In addition to home phone and internet service, SFR offers a wide range of television packages, allowing them to cater to customers of all tastes and budgets. From live coverage of Europe's major football leagues to the latest movie releases from Hollywood, Bollywood, and beyond, and everything in between, SFR has the perfect TV shows for the whole family.

While in France, one might enjoy a good TV show

Since 2011, all terrestrial French television stations have switched to digital broadcasts from their analog predecessors. TNT (Télévision Numérique Terrestre) is a service that provides access to these channels. Like the United Kingdom's free-to-use Freeview platform and channels, this one is also completely free to use. On the other hand, you will need a modern TV or set-top box to get TNT. You must additionally include a yearly TV license charge (sometimes called a "relevance audiovisuelle") in your tax payment. Satellite viewers may tune in using a system called TNT SAT.

About 20 of France's most watched channels are available on the TNT platform. Among them are major networks like TF1 and France 2, as well as regional and local ones like M6 and a plethora of others. However, if you want to watch certain live sports events (like football matches from England's Premier League) or the newest blockbusters to come out of Hollywood, you will need to join up for a TV subscription plan.

How to apply for and get a television license in France

There is a TV licencing system in existence in France, similar to systems in effect in many other European countries, to provide revenue for France's public broadcasters. However, the advance audiovisuelle in France is not an additional cost like licensing costs in other nations. It is instead included in your yearly "taxe d'habitation" payment to the local government. For more information on this and other French taxes, check out our in-depth tax guide.

Any household with a TV set capable of receiving live broadcasts must pay this television licensing cost. You will indeed have to pay this fee just once per household, but after that, you may have as many TVs as you want without paying anything more. The relevance audiovisuelle is subject to increases on an annual basis, so keep an eye out for any news that may indicate a rise in the cost of this service. It is anticipated that in 2020, the redevance audiovisuelle will be 138 euros.

Terrestrial TV in France

The citizens of France are spoiled for choice when it comes to terrestrial television channels. These channels are offered via TNT and are carried by the vast majority of pay TV providers. There are also a substantial number of regional channels that air programming tailored to certain regions.

National TV channels in France

In France, just a few media conglomerates own and operate the country's many television channels.

Groupe TF1 is the corporation behind France's most popular TV channel, TF1, as well as numerous other commercial entertainment and news networks. TMC, TFX, and LCI are just a few of the networks that fall within this category.

France Télévisions, the French state broadcaster, runs several television and radio stations throughout France. These include France 2, a popular entertainment network, France 4, a network aimed at young people, and the 24-hour news channel France Info.

Groupe Canal+ — Canal+'s primary offering is a pay-television subscription; nevertheless, the firm also operates many terrestrial channels, including the popular C8 and CStar in the entertainment genre.

Groupe M6 - This media conglomerate is responsible for not just the popular M6 network but also the kid-friendly 6ter network and the music channel M6 Music.

French TV stations serving local markets

The history of regional television in France is more established than in many other European countries. Channels 30–38 on the TNT platform allow access to these shows. The channels available on your TV will depend on where you are. However, some of the most well-known regional networks include:

IDF1 is a Paris and Île-de-France-only family-oriented channel.

The Grenoble and Isère region may both use téléGrenoble.

TV7 Bordeaux is a regional station broadcasting in and around Bordeaux.

International TV channels in France

Want to know what's going on in the world of entertainment and sports right now? Unfortunately, TNT does not currently broadcast any international channels. If you want to watch TV shows and movies from other countries in Europe, Asia, or the rest of the world, you will need to subscribe to a paid TV service.

Using satellite and cable to watch French television

Roughly half of all French households have access to a pay TVs provider like cable or satellite. For ex-pats relocating to France, however, these subscriptions provide the most hassle-free access to their home countries' television programming. Streaming live international sporting events and the newest Hollywood and Bollywood releases requires a paid subscription to one of these providers.

Getting these conveniences brought right to our living rooms is easier than ever today, which is a huge boon. TV channel subscriptions are increasingly being included in the packages of services offered by residential internet providers. These deals include not just more entertainment, sports, and news channels, but also interactive TV and catch-up services. Please go to our lesson on French home phone, internet, and tv installation for more details.

This box deal is primarily supplied by the following big French vendors:

Télécom Bouygues

● Free

● Orange


● La Poste Mobile

It is to your best advantage to do some homework before committing to one of these TV providers so that you can get the channels you want. This is a crucial factor to think about if you are interested in tuning into foreign networks. For instance, SFR offers specialized bouquets (bundles) for English-language television (includes BBC Entertainment) and Indian-language television (includes Star Plus and Zee TV) as well as other specialized packages. For a little monthly premium, you can get access to them.

Alternatively, you might sign up for a satellite TV package. Canal+ offers the majority of French households their television programming through satellite. They give access to a wide variety of domestic and international channels, some of which are also available via conventional means of television distribution. Depending on your precise location in France, you may discover that the free British satellite service known as FreeSat is the most convenient option. This will allow you to watch any of the hundreds of British television channels that are broadcast free of charge. However, you should know that a dish is required to get any channels.

Streaming services in France

The best movies and TV shows can only be found on streaming platforms. There is good news for foreign nationals residing in France: most popular streaming services are available nationwide. Here are some of them:

● Amazon Prime

● Netflix

● Disney+

Some French TV service providers provide their consumers access to on-demand platforms similar to those offered by foreign streaming services. This paves the way for you to watch French and international TV shows on your smartphone or tablet computer whenever and wherever you choose.

Getting a VPN in France

More and more people are using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to conceal their location and prevent snooping while they are online. This pattern is seen in every corner of the world. Not only may these virtual private networks (VPNs) help you bypass French censorship, but they can also make your web browsing in the country more private. From inside or outside your home, you may browse your chosen sites and access your favorite streaming services. VPNs available in France include:

● Atlas VPN

● CyberGhost VPN

● Express VPN

● Nord VPN

● Surfshark

● Vypr VPN

Listening to the radio in France

If you are looking for some light entertainment, France's radio stations have a plethora of options, especially if you are into French-language shows. Public and corporate entities alike broadcast a wide variety of local, regional, and national radio stations throughout the United States of America.

There are options for receiving French radio broadcasts in both digital and analog formats. The broadcast stations may be listened to via radios, smartphones, and certain digital TV services. Most French people listen to one of the forty or so stations that make up the Radio France network, which is owned and operated by the French government. They also own France Inter, the most widely watched digital channel in the country. Popular French national radio stations include the following:



France Info



While national French radio is quite popular, local stations are also very well received. The Radio France corporation manages over 30 independent regional radio stations under the France Bleu banner. You should check online to make sure you do not miss out on finding your new favorite French radio station since many commercial stations specialize in certain groups or interests.



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