Canal losing 350,000 subs in France

CanalLeBouquetFrench premium broadcaster Canal+ and CanalSat are losing subscribers at an increasing pace in France, according to BFM Business.

Churn in mainland France (“France métropolitaine”) has accelerated from 11.8% to 15.1%, but seems to be largely compensated by growth in other territories and the Canal Play Infinity online on-demand service.

The broadcaster is refusing to issue subscription numbers for France only and only supplies overall figures without dividing them up in territories. BFM calculates that the channel lost 350,000 subscribers this year in addition to the 80,000 it lost during 2012.

According to BFM, subscription numbers are up 32% in Africa, a gain of 240,000 now reaching a total of over one million homes.

Numbers for Canal Play Infinity are up from 25,000 at the end of March, 2012 to 173,000 mid-2013, a gain of almost 150,000.

According to Grégoire Castaing, CFO, the losses are due to an increased subscription fee by €1.60, up from €47.90 to €49.50 a month. Also increased competition from the new BeIn sports channels from Al Jazeera is hurting the broadcaster, “but their business model is not rational and rationality has to return some time.”

Castaing confirmed that most losses were incurred with the CanalSat platform rather than with the Canal+ premium channel.