It follows years of on-off negotiations between the ministry, the French movie industry (CNC), and the pay-TV companies.
The new system will benefit DVD releases, pay-TV services such as Canal+ and Orange Cinema and streaming platforms.
It means that the video on demand window, presently 4 months after a cinema release is reduced to 3 months.
Pay-TV broadcast will now be possible after eight months, rather than the current 8 to 10. Movies with less than 100,000 admissions will find there way onto the small screen after just 6 months.
Free-to-air channels such as TF1 and France Télévisions see their time reduce from 28 to 22 months, reducing further to 20 months for films with less than 100,000 admissions.
Subscription video on demand could see the greatest reduction, from 36 to 17 months, but only if an individual service signs an agreement with the industry. Netflix and CanalPlay have the greatest to gain here, and while Canal signed its agreement in November it is uncertain if Netflix would agree to the investment obligations still required by the French movie industry.
According to what is agreed there is the option to take the window down from 36 to 30 months after the cinema release if the industry agrees to a reduced number of obligations.