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Vivendi is reported as planning €300m of cuts at Canal Plus in a 2018 turnaround target for the loss making French pay-TV unit.
The French media and content group plans cost cuts across the board, including broadcasting, distribution and production, yielding savings of €60m – €80m this year alone.
The cost-cutting comes as Vivendi revealed increased losses at Canal Plus’s French channels had seen operating profit for the group fall 7.6 per cent during the first six months of the year to €440m.
Group adjusted net profit during the three months to the end of June was €187m, 3.1 per cent lower than a year earlier and below the €193m that analysts had predicted. Revenues during the second quarter were €2.55bn, 1.9 per cent lower than during the same period of 2015.
Vivendi chief Vincent Bolloré has taken a keen interest at Canal Plus, appointing himself chairman last year, purging top executives and becoming involved in every aspect of the business. At this year’s annual meeting, he reiterated threats to sell the channels if they could not be revived.
This summer disagreements have broken out with Italian broadcaster Mediaset over an agreement in April in which the two groups agreed to take a 3.5 per cent shareholding in the other group. Vivendi, which was also planning to take full ownership of Mediaset’s pay-TV group as part of that agreement, now wants to change the terms of the deal, insisting that Mediaset’s growth predictions for the pay-TV business are over-optimistic.