Plans by Vivendi to launch a European version of Netflix have been suspended.
According to Liberation, quoting Dominique Delport, the president of Vivendi Contents, a dedicated team of 15 people he led that was overseeing the project has had its weekly meetings suspended. While the project has not definitely been abandoned, it is now not a priority for Vivendi, whose focus now is on the launch of a premium service for mobiles by Studio+ in Latin America on September 30.
A European Netflix, were it to go ahead, would have been based on the existing SVOD assets of Canalplay in France and Watchever in Germany, which have 614,000 and 200,000 subscribers respectively. It would also have had the backing of Infinity, an SVOD service operated by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset, with which Vivendi established a partnership earlier this year, as well as Spain’s Telefónica, in which Vivendi holds a minority (1%) stake.
However, Watchever is due to close at the end of this year, while the partnership with Mediaset has ended.
In a late update, Liberation says Vivendi informed it that the project is still expected to launch in spring 2017, adding that the pace of work has been spread out pending the outcome of negotiations with Mediaset.