Arte is a French-German TV network which has the ambition of proposing quality programming related to the world of arts and culture.
Because it is a joint international venture, programs are created in such a way as to be equally watchable from both countries, which implies double- or opposite-language subtitling, and hosts speaking both languages alternatively.
Programming remains relatively hermetic and elitist, and is sometimes the subject of popular jokes.
Arte has started in 1992, under the socialist rule, filling frequencies left unused by the demise of La Cinq, the first French commercial television network (created in 1986). Arte has survived the 1993 transition to a right-wing government in spite of some fears, and quite a number of later changes too.
Programming is available permanently on cable, but over the air only in the evening, as France 5 operates the frequencies during the day.