Formerly fierce competitors for premium pay-TV subscribers, Bertrand Meheut, Chairman of the Canal+ Group, and Stéphane Richard, Chief Executive Officer of Orange, have announced a strategic partnership plan to bring the Orange cinema series package and TPS Star together under one joint venture.
The business will be owned 50-50 by the two partners and managed by both on an equal basis. The Canal+ Group will contribute its production skills, while Orange will provide technological expertise to develop interactive and associated transmedia services.
The Orange ciné max and TPS Star channels will merge to create Orange ciné star, a premium channel that will offer exclusive premier programmes, primarily movies and TV series. Orange ciné star will maintain Orange ciné max and TPS Star’s production policy, which is based on delivering quality content. The new channel will be distributed through the Orange and CANALSAT networks and will be available to any operator, an approach designed to help to achieve financial balance for the joint venture.
The Orange and Canal+ plan will also:
– maintain the other four Orange cinema series channels in accordance with the existing production policy while keeping the same names (Orange ciné happy, Orange ciné choc, Orange ciné novo, Orange ciné géants), and should distribute them over their respective networks,
– maintain commitments to promote cinematic creation, especially in France
– ensure long-term employment for all Orange production and technical employees involved in the Orange channels
Richard said the agreement was another example of Orange’s strategy to build partnerships that would drive the development of content. Meheut claimed the plan combined the unique know-how of two major telecom and television companies and would allow TV viewers to enjoy a quality channel at an attractive price. “This natural partnership with France’s leader in the ADSL market fulfils our multi-platform strategy: make our products available over all broadcast networks,” he said.
This partnership will be presented to employee representative bodies and submitted for their consultation and for the approval of the governing authorities.