French commercial broadcaster Canal+ has taken a 50% stake in Kissman Production Group.
Kissman is the production company of Jamel Debbouze, whose comedy-entertainment series Jamel Comedy Club is a fixture on Canal+.
Following the investment, financial terms of which were not disclosed, Canal+ and Kissman will work to develop new TV and digital projects in the talk show, short formats and longer form series for broadcasters and on-demand platforms.
Canal+, which operates free and pay TV channels in France, has been at the centre of concerns of Vincent Bolloré, the chairman of parent Vivendi. He has threatened to close the network if financial results do not improve.
Canal+’s original series include Spiral, The Returned, Braquo and Versailles.
Most of Vivendi’s content assets are made through new internal division Vivendi Entertainment and subsidiary Studiocanal, which owns production companies such as Red Production Company, Tandem Productions and Sam Productions.
Last year, Vivendi took a 26.2% stake in the merged Banijay and Zodiak Media group;; and also acquired majority stakes in Can’t Stop Media, Flab Lab and drama studio La Parisienne d’Images, which was rebranded Studio+. It also owns 33% of prolific Spanish drama producer Bambú Producciones and stakes in UK producers SunnyMarch TV and Urban Myth Films.
Kissman was founded in 1999, and has also made in-roads in the feature film market.
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