Canal+ and Orange: “Closer co-operation makes sense”

French telco Orange’s CEO Stephane Richard has given a wide-ranging interview in French business newspaper Les Echos, saying clearly that a closer co-operation with pay-TV operator Canal Plus makes sense.

According to a report on his comments from equity analysts at investment bank Exane/BNP-Paribas, Richard’s comments lead the bank to expect announcement(s) to be made in terms of distribution, rights investment and a broader alignment of both businesses in France but also Africa or Poland – bearing in mind that, whilst likely improving, the pay-TV regulatory framework remains complex and constraining for both groups in France.

“We see this interview as positive for Canal as it further de-risks the group to the loss of the key sports rights (mostly secured until 2020 anyway) and in particular the French league – in a context where SFR is increasingly aggressive when it comes to acquire premium rights,” said the bank.

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