French operators abandon Netflix rival plan

Xavier Couture

Xavier Couture

French broadcasters TF1, M6 and France Télévisions and service provider Orange have abandoned recently revived plans to pool their individual offerings to launch a rival SVoD service to Netflix after failing to strike an agreement, according to a report by financial daily Les Echos.

Xavier Couture, the adviser to Orange CEO Stéphane Richard charged with leading the talks, told the paper that a letter of cooperation had been prepared in recent weeks but had not been signed, Couture said that market research had shown that the project had little chance of achieving profitability in the medium term.

The planned service would have seen the merging of the SVoD offerings of the three broadcasters but not that of Orange, whose OCS service holds rights to top US series including Game of Thrones and True Blood. Instead, Orange would have supported the venture with its network and the presence of its TV box in 11 million homes across the country.

Orange is closely aligned in TV with Canal+, which offers rival SVoD service CanalPlay.