André Rousselet, the founder of French pay TV service Canal+, has died at the age of 93.
A politician and close associate of French president François Mitterrand, Rousselet founded Canal+ as the country’s first pay TV channel with Mitterrand’s support in 1984.
Rousselet had been appointed as president of media and communications group Havas by the government earlier that year, a post he occupied until 1986.
He served as president of Canal+ until 1994, having seen the company through a difficult debut characterised by heavy financial losses, into a profitable enterprise. During his time as president, Canal+ successfully launched multiple thematic channels and diversified through the launch of a production arm that became a leading force in the country’s TV and cinema industry.
Rousselet was ousted from his post with the pay TV broadcaster in 1994 by the joint actions of shareholders Havas, Société Générale and Compagnie Générale des Eaux. Rousselet publicly blamed prime minister Eduoard Balladur for orchestrating his fall for political reasons.