Canal+ and Orange are to enter into a strategic partnership that will bring together the Orange Cinema series channels with TPS Star in a single venture. The business will be owned 50/50 by the two partners and managed equally. Canal+ will be responsible for production while Orange will provide interactive and distribution services.
ciné star, a premium channel that will predominantly screen movies and TV series, will replace the TPS Star brand created after the earlier merger of CanalSat and TPS. It will be distributed both through Orange and CanalSat. Significantly it will be available to any other operator with which terms can be agreed.
The four existing Orange cinema series channels names (Orange ciné happy, Orange ciné choc, Orange ciné novo, Orange ciné géants) will also be retained and will be carried over both platforms.
Orange CEO Stéphane Richard said the agreement would allow the companies to continue to develop the service as a package they could be proud of, “Today’s agreement with Canal+ is another example of our strategy to build partnerships that will drive the development of content. Our goal is to develop the content created by our production partners and offers our clients innovative products and services by leveraging the power of our networks and the experience we’ve acquired over the last few years”. The decision by Orange to move away from proprietary channels was signaled by Richard last July. The platform continues to operate Orange Sport, but a sale can also be expected here.
Describing his one-time rival as a “natural partner” Canal+ Group chairman Bertrand Meheut said the ADSL operator would help Canal+ fulfil its multi-platform strategy. “Orange’s ability to innovate technologically is just one more advantage we welcome,” he said.
This partnership will be presented to employee representative bodies and submitted for their consultation and for the approval of the governing authorities.
The Orange Cinema Series currently has 494,000 subscribers.