Canal+ acquisition of OCS approved
January 15, 2024
From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris
The full acquisition of OCS and its production arm, Orange Studio, by Canal+ has been approved by the French Competition Authority – but only under specific conditions to prevent any negative impact on the diversity of French cinema and its distribution.
A year after the initial agreement between Vivendi’s subsidiary and Orange was concluded and the integration of OCS channels (Max, Pulp, Géants) into OTT platform MyCanal, the pay-TV group has accepted various obligations over the next five years in order to ensure the independence of OCS teams and the diversity of its movie offering. Canal+ and OCS, whose agreements with the movie industry are set to be renewed at the end of 2024, are pitching to be the only two pay-TV platforms for first-window broadcast when producers are searching to pre-sell their projects.
Inside Canal+’s group OCS, now joined with service Ciné+, will keep an independent seventy person team as well as its own budget to conduct the pre-acquisitions negotiations with the movie industry. Until the end of 2024, the OCS/Ciné+ budget has been around €60 million for three years.
The coming investment will have to reflect the diversity of French movie production in terms of budgets, talents, genres and directors. Regarding films first refused by Canal+, the OCS/Ciné+ teams will be able to engage around 25 projects over five years, including a minimum of four films a year.
The OCS French co-production deals, signed before the agreement with Canal+ was settled, will also have the capacity to be sold to FTA broadcasters for their replay services.