French senior citizens are to receive the first television channel devoted entirely to them, courtesy of recently established cable-TV firm Tele-Senior.

Scheduled to launch 24 hours a day on December 3 and available on cable systems and the CanalSatellite digital platform, Tele Melody hopes to attract an older audience, not to mention advertisers eager to reach them.

The 60-plus age group targeted by the channel numbers 20 million in France, is rapidly growing and has considerable economic muscle, yet is largely ignored from a commercial angle. “Seniors are as a group neglected by the major, general audience TV networks, because they are already an acquired audience,” commented Tele-Senior ceo Bruno Lecluse.

Programming will rely heavily on music clips from old recording stars, plus variety shows, karaoke programmes, dance events and dedications of music videos.

The channel hopes initially to make back its $3.5m yearly operating costs from subscriptions and ad deals connected with individual shows. In the longer term, there are plans for a second channel broadcasting fictional programmes, plus a possible, game-focused third.

Lecluse expressed confidence about the future of programming for senior citizens, pointing out that 35% of the 50-plus market subscribes to cable or satellite TV, while the average daily viewing time among over-sixties is four hours, well ahead of the 2.5 hours for the population in general.

News source: AdAge Global