Canal Plus agrees to new conditions to secure FTA channels

Canal Plus has finally secured a green light from the CSA for its takeover of Bolloré-owned free-to-air channels Direct 8 and Direct Star after agreeing to a wide-ranging series of new commitments laid out by the media regulator.

The new commitments undertaken by the broadcaster are additional to those imposed by the French competition regulator in July. Canal Plus said it now expected to complete the acquisition of the two channels by the end of this month.

Canal Plus will not be able to air its flagship shows including Engrenages and Braquo on Direct 8 for at least 18 months after their airing on pay TV. Direct 8 will only be able to acquire up to 36% of StudioCanal’s film titles, and will only be able to offer a limited number of US series each week. Canal Plus will only be able to sign one deal with a US studio for the channel.

Direct 8 will only be able to acquire free and pay rights to 20 new movie titles a year, and only 10 with a budget greater than €7 million. Moreover Canal Plus will have to split the acquisition of free and pay rights between two bodies. Direct 8 will have to devote 8.5% of its revenues to European originated production.

The conditional assent of the CSA means that Canal Plus will go ahead with the €465 million acquisition of the two channels.

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