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How can I watch French TV from abroad?

Watching French TV can be a good way to brush up on your language skills while outside the country, but not all channels are accessible

We look at the different options you have for watching French TV outside of France Pic: pixinoo / Shutterstock

Reader question: I would like to watch more French TV to improve my language skills. If I subscribe to a service such as Canal+ for my second home, will I be able to watch their programmes from the UK as well? 

Most French TV channels and subscription services are not accessible from the UK, unfortunately. 

The myCANAL streaming service is only available within France and the European Union. 

However, it is possible to download programmes while you are in France, which you can then watch without an internet connection, even if you leave the EU. 

Other channels’ streaming platforms such as MYTF1 and 6play are not usually available outside the EU either, although there may be exceptions for certain programmes. 

These do not allow users to download content. 

At the same time, international platforms such as Netflix are increasingly dedicating resources to producing original shows in French which can be seen anywhere. 

The TV5MONDE channel, which broadcasts TV shows, documentaries and films in French for a global audience (see left about La Francophonie) is also an option. 

It is no longer available via Sky or Virgin in the UK as it was until a few years ago, but you can still watch online or on an app. 

It is also possible to watch the French versions of news channels Euronews and France 24 on their respective websites, or even live on YouTube. ARTE, meanwhile, offers many programmes with English subtitles at arte.tv/en.

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