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Canal+ seals deal for new windowing regime

Canal+ and other French television broadcasters signed a new windowing agreement with organisations representing the French cinema industry just ahead of the Christmas break, enabling it to make movies available on its service between six and eight months after their theatrical release for the first time.

Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada

Canal+ said that the agreement recognised its unique position and role in financing cinema production, with €150 million invested each year for the Canal+ premium channel and a total of close to €400 million invested by the group as a whole in French and European film production.

The pay TV outfit expressed its thanks to culture minister Franck Riester for his role in brokering the deal, which followed an earlier accord between Canal+ and the cinema industry in November under which the pay TV broadcaster agreed to continue to support movie production on the understanding that the windowing issue would be resolved.

Canal+ said at the time that its agreement with cinema organisations BLIC, BLOC and the ARP foreshadowed a new agreement on windowing, which will see the operator offer films on its service from six months after their theatrical release for the first time, compared with 10-12 months currently.

That agreement also includes Orange’s OCS as well as broadcasters France Télévisions, TF1, M6 and Arte.

Under the new regime, which has been seen as a significant victory for Canal+ after years of attempted reform, will see films made available on Canal+ between six and eight months after films are released theatrically, as opposed to 11 months today. Free-to-air channels will see the delay they face from theatrical release reduced by three months. For SVOD services such as Netflix, the emergence of which have accelerated the need for change, the current 36-month window will be reduced to 15-17 months on condition that they support French and European cinema financially.