Free takes Canalplay stake

Iliad-owned telco Free has been holding a 20 per cent stake in Canal+’s SVoD service Canalplay since 2016, having exercised a share acquisition option, according to weekly magazine L’Express.

The French operator discreetly took up the shares it held the rights to following the sale of its Free Home Video service to Canal+ in 2011. Free could even strengthen its position into Canalplay in 2018 suggests L’Express, which notes that the SVoD service lost 16 per cent of revenues in 2016 to €33.8 million, with losses trebling to €6.3 million.

The SVoD platform, whose contents are now integrated into non-linear MyCANAL app for its subscribers and those with packs Ciné-Séries and L’Intégrale, would also have lost 150,000 subscribers out of the 750,000 claimed in 2015.

L’Express suggests Free’s move into Canalplay could damage Canal+’s relationships with other French telcos.

On August 21st, Bouygues Telecom announced a partnership with Canal+ to launch its new Bbox Miami offer, which integrates access to Canal+ bouquet and to Canalplay.

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