Our history: 1974 - 1989

Following the dismantling of ORTF (short for Office de Radio Télévision Français), channel number one becomes TF1, short for Télévision Française 1. The channel broadcasts around 60 hours of programmes a week.

From 1974 to 1987 – the year of its privatisation – TF1 airs a number of programmes that will go on to leave their stamp on contemporary audiovisual culture, including the 1 o’clock and 8 o’clock news shows, the 7 sur 7, Reportages and Téléfoot magazines, along with Droit de Réponse, L’Ile aux Enfants and Croque Vacances. TF1 programmes bring major new talents to light, some of them leaving a lasting mark on the channel and its viewers, such as Yves Mourousi, Jean-Pierre Pernaut, Anne Sinclair and Thierry Roland. The channel builds a cornerstone on which an extraordinary relationship of over 40 years (and counting) is to be built with the viewing public.  

On April 6, the Commission Nationale de la Communication et des Libertés (or CNCL, the predecessor of the CSA), chooses the Bouygues Group to be the operator of the channel; it becomes one of the core shareholders, representing 50% of the capital.

TF1 is privatised and listed on the stock market on July 24. As of this point in time, TF1 no longer has the benefit of licence fees and relies solely on advertising revenue. Francis Bouygues is appointed Chairman and Chief executive Officer of TF1.

1987 marks the debut of leading entertainment shows including Le Juste Prix, Sacrée Soirée and La Roue de la fortune, as well as the Reportages magazine created by Henri Chambon. Patrick-Poivre d’Arvor takes up his position as 8 o’clock news anchor, while the programmes of Club Dorothée prove an instant hit with younger viewers.

For the first time, the channel's audience share breaks through the 40% threshold.

Patrick Le Lay is named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TF1. Vice-President Etienne Mougeotte is also responsible for managing the channel and its programmes.

TF1 creates Une Musique, a music and record publishing entity. TF1 Vidéo capitalises on the success of the Bébête Show cassette, which sells in more than 150,000 copies, to launch new products.

Ciel mon mardi!, a talk show hosted by Christophe Dechavanne, is a huge success with viewers. 

TF1 creates the TF1 Vidéo subsidiary, a key player in the video market tasked with publishing and distributing French and international films and programmes initially on video cassette, from the mid-1990s on DVD, and from the mid-2000s via VoD and Blu-ray.

The TF1 group expands with TF1 Entreprises (video, telematics, licences and merchandising).

The first stone of the new headquarters is laid at Boulogne-Billancourt, outside Paris.

The channel debuts its new game show Jeopardy and Catherine Laborde comes on board as a weather presenter.