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Court order closes private TV channel Téléfenua

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PAPE'ETE: (Tahiti-Presse/Pacific Media Watch): Téléfenua, Tahiti¹s second private television network and the first to offer CNN, has ended eight years of broadcasting following a ruling by the Papeete Commercial Tribunal, Tahiti-Presse reports.

³There were no buyers, so there was no other solution than putting it into liquidation,² Téléfenua¹s management said following the court¹s decision on March 31.

The network had been in receivership since October 28.

Téléfenua, which started broadcasting to homes on the island of Tahiti and its sister island of Moorea on March 6, 1995, had debts totalling 2.3 billion French Pacific francs (about 19.3m euros, or US$21.3m). And 30 million F CFP (250,000 euros/US$278,000) of that debt was local.

³It¹s always too bad to watch disappear a media that still counted 20,000 television viewers,² a statement by the Téléfenua management said.

However, the network only had some 4500 subscribers for its bouquet of 18 channels that were watched by anestimated average of 4.5 people living in each household in French Polynesia.

Of Téléfenua¹s 30 employees, some have already found new work. The others will receive compensation equal to three months of salary plus severance pay.

That leaves Tahiti¹s television audience the French State¹s two public RFO channels; Canal +, Tahiti¹s first private TV network; and Tahiti Nui Satellite (TNS), French Polynesia¹s only 100% digital satellite TV service.

Canal +, a French network, started broadcasting on Dec. 22, 1994. TNS, an affiliate of the French Polynesia Postal and Telecommunications Department (OPT), began broadcasting on June 29, 2000.

TNS now offers 23 TV channels, including CNN, and five radio channels.



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