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France seeks to soothe Arab anger over porn film

HDN | 7/23/1997 12:00:00 AM |

A switching error causes French state to TV send porn film to Arab world Reuters Paris- France said on Tuesday that the broadcasting by a French channel of a hard-core pornographic film around the Arab world instead of a children's program was "unacceptable" and the result of a technical error. The state-funded Canal France International (CFI) has apologized for the mistake, which resulted in all its programs being yanked off the air by the Arabsat satellite consortium after the broadcast at

  • A switching error causes French state to TV send porn film to Arab world

    Reuters

    Paris- France said on Tuesday that the broadcasting by a French channel of a hard-core pornographic film around the Arab world instead of a children's program was "unacceptable" and the result of a technical error.

    The state-funded Canal France International (CFI) has apologized for the mistake, which resulted in all its programs being yanked off the air by the Arabsat satellite consortium after the broadcast at prime time on Saturday afternoon.

    "We deeply regret this unacceptable incident and we share in the high feelings prompted in Saudi Arabia and more widely in the Arab world," foreign ministry spokesman Jacques Rummelhardt told a daily press briefing.

    CFI "took no part in the broadcasting of such a program. It was an unacceptable incident which resulted from a technical error," he said.

    CFI said the mistake took place at the France Telecom state communications agency which feeds French television programs to satellites across the world -- among them Arabsat, which broadcasts throughout Arab countries.

    Instead of sending a scheduled feature for children, France Telecom sent the pornographic film from a private French station destined for clients in the Pacific.

    France Telecom confirmed the incident and said an investigation was under way.

    Officials said French diplomats in Saudi Arabia had tried to smooth over what could be a disaster for France's efforts to reach audiences in the Arab world, where most Western programs are American-made.

    CFI said that in 1995, its programs went to a potential audience of more than 33 million people in and around the Middle East.

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