The Sundance Channel, bringing a selection of films, documentaries and original programmes, has launched on France’s IPTV platform Free.
Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel, acquired by Rainbow Media in May 2008, already reaches more than 30 million subscribers in the US. Its launch on Free marks its third international carriage deal, although Free will be the first to physically debut Sundance Channel in France. (Earlier, the channel announced a carriage deal with French cabler Numéricable, but apparently actual distribution still has to start; see Broadband TV News passim).
“On the eve of our 10th anniversary, we are ecstatic that Free will be first to broadcast Sundance Channel in France, a real opportunity for all of us and a fitting match,” said Maxime Lombardini, Free’s general manager, in a statement. “Like Robert Redford gave new creative breath to independent cinema, we believe Free shares that pioneering spirit, having launched several innovative internet and TV products over the past 10 years.”
“We are very pleased with the early international response to Sundance as a global channel offering,” said Ed Carroll, COO, Rainbow Entertainment Services. “Every new carriage deal brings us closer to fulfilling the vision Robert Redford and Rainbow Media share for Sundance Channel, and we are happy to count another true innovator among our affiliates. We look forward to helping Free usher in its 10th anniversary with the launch of one of our most respected brands.”
The 24/7 linear Sundance Channel will be offered in both SD and HD as part of Free’s premium movie package, and with French subtitles. Future plans also include an SVOD offering.
The channel also recently launched on Telenet in Belgium.