Following a carriage dispute lasting several months, Canal+ and Orange have now signed a multi-year agreement to enable Orange customers to receive channels from Canal+ and CanalSat, including the Foot+ live football channel.
After launching its own movie and sport channels via satellite, Orange was not able to secure access to the Canal+ products for its DTH customers. Although these channels are available to the Orange IPTV customers, Canal+ was not willing to extend the retrans agreement to satellite viewers. Subsequently Orange complained to the media authority CSA (see Broadband TV News passim).
There is however a catch, the Orange DTH bouquet is available on the Eutelsat Hotbird position, while the channels from Canal are only available on Astra at 19.2 degrees East. So, as a result, for the retrans of its own channels Orange has signed a capacity agreement with SES Astra. Nick Stubbs, managing director, Astra France said the agreement would greatly enhance Orange’s coverage area. “Our 19.2 degrees East position is the leading orbital slot for direct-to-home satellite reception in France, and allows Orange to reach customers in regions with insufficient ADSL coverage.”
The signals will be encoded in MPEG-4 and uplinked to the satellite by fellow France Telecom subsidiary Globecast.
A technical cooperation agreement between Orange and the Canal+ Group will allow the two partners to use the same satellite resources. The offer for the Orange customers on satellite will now be similar to that available on IPTV.
In addition to the bouquet of channels of Orange TV, all triple play Orange subscribers will also have access to Canal+, CanalSat and CanalSat Video-on-Demand. These services, including Canal+ and Canalsat on the PC, will be available directly on the TV through the box provided by Orange.