Netflix fails to secure Free deal, sets out goals for France

Netflix lifestyleFrench telco Iliad Telecom/Free has joined Orange in declining to distribute Netflix when it launches in the country on September 15.

Iliad Telecom CEO Maxime Lombardini said that the pair had failed to reach an agreement on distributing the US streaming service to Free subscribers’ boxes. Lombardini said that Netflix and Iliad had failed to come to an agreement on the economics of a deal, but did not rule out a compromise being reached in the future.

Lombardini told French press that to his knowledge Netflix had not struck an agreement with the three other leading operators. Orange CEO Stéphane Richard confirmed at the end of July that his company would not distribute Netflix on its Livebox service, at least initially.

The news comes as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings continues his press campaign in France. In an interview with daily newspaper Le Figaro, Hastings said that Netflix could break-even in France if it secured 10% of the country’s homes. Hastings said he hoped to win over about a third of French homes in five to 10 years’ time.

Hastings reiterated that Netflix is committed to support the French production industry despite being based in Amsterdam, a move that exempts it from a formal commitment under the country’s content creation support rules.

Canal+ is meanwhile expected to make a raft of announcements related to its existing CanalPlay SVoD service on September 10. According to the Journal du Dimanche, the pay TV operator plans to introduce the ability to download films and series for viewing offline, in addition to making new content available on the platform.