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France Télévisions’ Netflix rival to ‘launch before summer’

France Télévisions’ planned SVOD offering will launch “before the summer”, according to the pubcaster’s commercial chief Julien Verley, quoted by business news service BFMTV.

Julien Verley

Verley said that France Télévisions was keen to strike deals with other broadcasters, including Orange, to build its planned French rival service.

He said France Télévisions was aiming for a 10% share of the SVOD market, with between 600,000-700,000 subscribers four to five years after the launch.

Verley said that the planned offering would be “very different” from Netflix and would focus above all on French fiction programming, with at least 300 titles in its catalogue.

France Télévisions has signed agreement with production outfits Lagardère, Newen, Banijay Zodiak, Tetra media, makeover, Cyber Group, Xilam, Millimages and Media Participations so far.

Verly said that the deals would not be exclusive and that the production companies would be able to take their content to rival providers.

Producers will also be able to bring rights to shows that have been sold for over-the-air broadcast to rival channels. Under commercial broadcaster TF1’s agreement with producers, for example, SVOD rights revert to the production outfit a year after the initial airing of the show.

France Télévisions seems particularly keen to strike an agreement bringing Orange on board. The telco, for which France Télévisions director-general Delphine Ernotte worked before her appointment to head up the pubcaster, holds the rights to distribute HBO content in France, including the likes of Game of Thrones and Westworld. However, Orange’s deal with HBO reserves these shows for its own OCS channels.