New French documentary channel RMC Découverte is on a shopping spree in La Rochelle, seeking 600 hours of programming ahead of its December 12 launch.
The channel was granted a free-to-air license in March, as part of a bid for six new HD channels on digital terrestrial platforms broadcast all over France.
It is owned by media group Nextradio, which also runs news channel BFMTV, cabsat channel BFM Business TV, and radio station RMC.
Nextradio president Alain Weill hired Guénaelle Troly to be RMC Découverte programs director, with Troly having formerly held the same position at Fox International Channels in France. Both were in La Rochelle to meet with French and foreign programming suppliers.
“We are currently fine-tuning our editorial line,” Weill told realscreen at Sunny Side. “Our schedule will include various genres of documentaries, with strong focuses on adventure, environment, history, and science programming, which should get primetime strands.
“We are looking for all kinds of programming, from immersive docs and hosted documentaries, to docudramas, and we are more specially here watching for any new international trends.”
RMC Découverte is seeking first free-to-air rights for shows, but does not really mind if programming was previously broadcast on cabsat channels, “as there is not that much competition as opposed to terrestrial broadcasters.”
Under French regulations, the channel will dedicate 60% of its line-up to European fare, including 40% French programming. In addition, the channel will invest in original programming and commission documentaries.
“We may launch a few projects quite soon in order to mark our specificity,” added Weill.