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Canal+ stable for Vivendi in Q3, despite subscriber losses in France

Vivendi has posted positive results for the quarter amid ongoing legal disputes with the Italian Mediaset.

The multimedia company saw revenues increase by 16.7% year-over-year to €3.97 billion. 

In terms of its TV business, Canal+ Group, revenues slightly increased from €1.25 billion to €1.29 billion when compared to the previous year. The first nine months of 2019 saw a slight decrease of 0.5% – amounting to €3.8 billion 

The entire group saw an increase in subscriber numbers, reaching nearly 19 million. This compares to 16.3 million year-over-year and now includes countries where M7 is present. 

In France, overall individual subscriber numbers decreased slightly from 8.1 million to 7.9 million year-over-year. Canal+ channel’s individual subscriber base saw a net gain of 99,000 subscribers year-on-year.

Revenues from international operations increased by 6.1% compared to the first nine months of 2018 thanks to the strong growth in the number of subscribers (an increase of 2.9 million year-on-year). This was driven by organic growth and the integration of M7.

During the quarter, the Canal+ Group closed the acquisition of pay-TV operator M7, meaning the group now operates in 40 countries. It also acquired Nigerian production company IROKO Group and acquired the Mezzo channel jointly with the group Les Echos-Le Parisien. In France, it also signed a deal with Netflix to integrate the streamer into its Canal+ packages.

The majority of Vivendi’s growth comes as a result of growth in Universal Music Group which has seen success from releases by artists like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish, along with the chart-topping A Star Is Born soundtrack. 

In August, the company announced negotiations with Chinese Tencent to sell a 10% stake in Universal Music Group, and has added that due diligence and finalising legal documents should be wrapped up in the coming weeks. 

Vivendi is currently in the middle of ongoing legal disputes with Mediaset. This week, the company withdrew its complaint against the Italian broadcaster in the Netherlands following its Spanish court victory. Vivendi, a shareholder in Mediaset, is attempting to block the latter’s efforts to create a pan-European media group.