Answering questions from the Senate Committee on Culture, Maxime Saada blamed a regulatory environment for preventing an exclusive deal with Netflix or Amazon that in turn had led to a collapse in subscriber numbers from 800,000 to 200,000 over two years.
Saada also hit out at the competition authority over the commitments imposed following the acquisition of the former TPS platform. These – Saada reminded the committee that there were 60 in all – also prevented Canal from holding its own exclusives.
He called for Canal to be allowed to regain the international distribution rights to its own productions.
The long-time Canal executive said that having developed a competitor to Netflix, CanalPlay had been killed by its US rival, in a market that itself was now replacing television.
Saada did not put a date on when CanalPlay might be wound up. He said the €9.99 per month service would most likely be folded into myCanal that puts Canal’s proposition onto PCs, tablets, smart phones and connected screens.
Turning to the “earthquake” of the loss of rights to Ligue 1, Saada said Canal benefitted from not “spending an inconsiderate amount” on the rights to the top-flight football, as had been the case with Mediapro’s spend.