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France Télévisions taps Arkena for SVOD plan

France Télévisions has chosen Arkena to provide transcoding capability for its planned – and much delayed – SVOD offering.

Arkena’s content management system, Cloud4Media , will receive media files, and check, prepare and deliver them in all formats necessary for distribution across multiple devices.

“It is the recognition of a strong expertise in OTT and the relationship of trust established with our customers. We are honoured to have been chosen to work on a project of this magnitude,” said Jean-Baptiste Darras, chief marketing officer of Arkena.

Delphine Ernotte

France Télévisions’ ambitious plan to take on Netflix with a rival subscription video-on-demand service was originally scheduled to launch last autumn, but was pushed back until spring this year. The broadcaster has struck agreements with a number of producers to provide content for the service, which will focus on exclusive drama programming alongside catalogue titles and family-oriented animation and other fare.

The pubcaster’s director-general, Delphine Ernotte, has reportedly been trying to enlist the support of pay TV providers – notably Orange and Canal+ – to bolster the scheme. Ernotte has come under pressure on a number of fronts in recent months, notably from the French government, which last year demanded that it finds an additional €50 million in savings on top of wide-ranging economies already imposed under the previous administration.

Separately, France Télévisions this week launched a new digital offering aimed at millennials. Slash, aimed at 18-30 year-olds, will provide a raft of programmes tailored to mobile, social media and web consumption. The programming offering will include a French version of Norwegian pubcaster NRK’s teen-oriented drama SKAM, which will also be aired on France 4.