Salto closure confirmed
February 16, 2023
By Colin Mann
French public service broadcasters France Télévisions, M6 and TF1 have decided to close the Salto streaming service.
After a number of delays, finally launching in October 2020, Salto currently claims some one million subscribers, who have signed up for an offer that “combines the best of French drama with iconic daily shows and exclusive all-new programmes”.
This decision by Salto’s three founder-shareholders follows the abandonment of the proposed merger between TF1 and M6, which would have paved the way for Salto to be taken over by the merged entity. Now that this project has been stopped, the shareholders of Salto have decided that the conditions are not met for Salto to continue with its current ownership structure, given the complex and constraining governance arrangements and the refusal of most internet service providers to distribute the platform, as is the case with the American platforms. In addition, none of the expressions of interest in taking over Salto received from a number of industry players could be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
Consequently, the shareholders of Salto SNC have decided that Marc Sénéchal, a partner in the firm B.T.S.G., should be designated as the court-appointed administrator to conduct a voluntary liquidation.
B.T.S.G. will shortly specify and announce the timetable for the shutdown of the platform and subscriptions. A specific communication will be sent in the near future to Salto subscribers to inform them of the consequences on their current subscription.
As part of the prior information/consultation procedure involving the employee representative bodies, the Salto Social and Economic Council expressed a favourable opinion on the proposed cessation of trading and on the collective redundancy procedure, following lively and constructive dialogue between the stakeholders. France Télévisions, M6 and TF1 groups have committed to making their best efforts to find alternative posts for Salto employees.
In a statement, the shareholders said they would like to pay tribute to the “exceptional” work accomplished by the talented people at Salto, under the leadership of Thomas Follin, and to express their disappointment at this unfortunate outcome for the French broadcasting industry.