France's first wine network is in danger of being banned at home before even filming its first show.
Edonys, a French television channel devoted to wine-related programming, has received a discouraging response to preliminary proposals it submitted to the CSA – the authority that regulates France’s electronic media.
It is thought that planned content will contravene the country’s Loi Evin (Evin law), which prohibits discussion, demonstration and images of wine being consumed in a positive context.
‘The CSA haven’t give us a definitive answer, but we don’t want to get into a situation where we have to negotiate every point with them,’ Jean-Michel Peyronnet, Edonys editorial chief said.
‘We are excited to move forward with this, and don’t have time to wait for the bad news.’
Along with programming about wine tourism, producer profiles and other formats, Peyronnet envisions interactive broadcasts in which viewers can participate in tastings and discussions with wine experts.
Edonys’s production company Media Place Partners is currently seeking more welcoming places to broadcast, and is in talks with Britain, Belgium and Luxembourg, which it considers a frontrunner.
‘What makes this a scandal is that we don’t have the right to talk about wine in France – the world’s reference for wine – unless we can say it’s dangerous, that it causes cancer,’ said Peyronnet.
‘The CSA regularly approves programming that includes violence, pornography and extraordinarily ridiculous scenarios – but we’re not allowed to say wine is a pleasure, that it’s part of our national heritage, that it’s made by passionate men and women.’
Written by Maggie Rosen