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France Télévisions putting SVOD plan ‘on hold’ as it seeks partners

France Télévisions has put its plan to launch a subscription video-on-demand service on hold as it tries to strike an agreement with TF1, M6 and Orange to launch a French version of Hulu that would incorporate both free and paid-for content, according to a report by financial daily Les Echos.

According to the paper, France Télévisions commercial chief Julien Verley told partners that the public broadcaster was putting the SVOD plan on hold “for several weeks” in order to continue talks with TF1 and M6 on a joint project.

France Télévisions is believed to be talking with commercial players about a platform that include free and pay content, including catch-up services from different channels. This would incorporate content originally destined for France Télévisions’ proprietary SVOD platform.

There has been some scepticism among industry observers in France about the viability of a standalone SVOD offering that would compete for attention with global players such as Netflix. Last month France Télévisions former programming chief Xavier Couture submitted a confidential report calling for the SVOD plan to be abandoned, among other far reaching changes to the public broadcaster’s structure.

Couture instead recommended the creation of a free platform on the model of Hulu in partnership with other European and French broadcasters.