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French Netflix rival dropped

July 17, 2015

By Colin Mann

A plan to by a group of French broadcasters and telco Orange to launch an SVoD service in competition to Netflix has been abandoned, according to French financial daily Les Echos.

Discussions had centred on Orange, TF1, M6 and France Télévisions pooling their SVoD offerings.

A Letter of Agreement had been prepared, but never signed, with Xavier Couture, special adviser to Orange Chief Executive and Chairman Stéphane Richard, suggesting that all parties had taken the decision to drop the project. Richard has expressed his concern at the threat of Netflix, which launched in France in September 2104, on a number of occasions.

“Marketing acceptability tests suggested that we we not in a position to achieve mid-term profitability,” admitted Couture, who explained that any such offering would not have involved Orange’s OCS film channel. “It was never a question of making OCS the vehicle for a French Netflix. Orange was taking part in the project by providing its sales force and distribution capacity.”

Couture said the parties hadn’t abandoned the idea of a common project and would continue to consider other solutions together.

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