TF1 takes majority stakes in Play Two and Canada’s Reel One

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has taken a majority stake in musical production outfit Play Two, upping its stake to 51%.

Play Two, created in 2016 by Julien Godin and Sébastian Duclos, has emerged as a leading independent label and event producer, with popular artists including Gim’s MC Solaar, David Hallyday, Trois Cafés Gourmands and Kids United signed to it.

Gilles Pélisson

TF1 said that the acquisition of a majority stake illustrated its ambition to become a major partner of the music industry in France, in particular by exposing talent to a public audience via its TF1 and TMC channels and through TF1 Musique, a subsidiary in charge of partnerships with record production outfits and agencies and TF1 Spectacle, its unit in charge of partnerships with producers of major events. TF1 also owns two other subsidiaries involved in music, Une Musique and STS.

Gilles Pélisson, TF1 CEO, said that the move illustrated “once again our ambition to be a key player in entertainment” and its “determination to play a still more active role in the artistic world”.

Separately, TF1, production subsidiary Newen has acquired a majority stake in Canadian scripted content producer and distributor Reel One.

Reel One produces and commercialises programmes for US, Canadian and International channels and for SVOD platforms. The company, founded in 2001 by Tom Berry, is based in Montreal with offices in Los Angeles, London, Toronto and Vancouver. Berry will remain as CEO and will take a minority stake in a new Canadian subsidiary of Newen.

TF1 said that the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval in Canada, would open up new opportunities in fiction product and access to North American and UK talent for Newen.