French pay-TV operator Canal Plus has entered into exclusive talks to buy the film and pay TV operations of telco Orange.
The deal would see Vivendi-owned Canal Plus acquire Orange’s pay TV business OCS, which has nearly three million subscribers.
Canal Plus also plans to purchase Orange Studio, the telco’s film and TV production, sales and distribution division. Orange Studio distributed Florian Zeller’s Oscar winning film The Father in France, and also has French rights to Zeller’s follow up The Son.
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A deal would help Canal Plus challenge Netflix in France. The US streamer has 10 million subscribers in France, while Canal Plus had 9.6 million subscribers at end of June. OCS has 2.9 million subscribers.
Canal Plus’ parent company Vivendi already owns 33.3% of OCS.
OCS is the distributor of HBO series in France, including shows such as Game of Thrones and Succession. Other TV series provided by OCS in France include The Handmaid’s Tale and The Walking Dead.
The acquisition would first have to be approved by the French competition authority. In 2011, the French competition authority blocked a previous attempt by Canal Plus to merge with OCS and launch a premium pay TV channel, but that was before the French market was transformed by the arrival of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus.
News of the exclusive talks were first reported by Variety.