France’s Canal+ to buy Orange’s pay-TV & studio division


Canal+ in France has struck a far-reaching deal to acquire OCS and Orange Studio, handing the Vivendi-owned operator almost three million subscribers and marking the end of the telco’s operations in TV.

The acquisition, financial details of which have not been revealed, will provide Canal+ with more than 1,800 TV series and films from Orange Studio, which is also behind more than 200 coproductions.

Its output has included Devils, produced with Sky Italia, as well as Le Nom De La Rose and Cheyenne & Lola, alongside films such as The Artist and The Father.

House Of The Dragon

Subs surge

The deal will also provide the Vincent Bolloré-led Canal+, which already owns a 33% stake in Orange, with the telco’s 2.9 million subscribers (as of July 2022). Orange had been the second biggest pay TV player in France, with Canal+ claiming almost 9.6 million subs (also July 2022).

The proposed acquisition remains subject to local regulatory clearances and comes just weeks after Orange’s long-standing output deal with HBO came to an end.

That pact had run for almost a decade and allowed Orange to air shows such as Game Of Thrones, The Sopranos, True Detective and House Of The Dragon. HBO owner Warner Bros Discovery is now free to strike other deals or put programming onto its forthcoming HBO Max/Discovery+ streamer in the country.

TBI revealed in July last year that France would not receive HBO Max, with WBD instead opting to wait until 2023 to roll-out its as-yet unnamed HBO Max/Discovery+ streamer.

In a statement, Canal+ admitted that the Orange deal had been struck as competition from “powerful global platforms” such as Netflix had been “intensifying”.

“It is within this context that Orange wished to protect the development of these two divisions, while protecting jobs and the pre-financing of movies,” it added.

The deal is the latest to see a telco moving out of content, following similar moves such as AT&T’s sale of WarnerMedia.

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