New movie windowing regime set for France

A new movie windowing regime is expected to be signed by most of the major players in France today that will see Canal+ emerge as the major winner, while the number of months Netflix has to wait to air movies in the country will be cut by more than half.

Netflix currently must wait 36 months to air films following their theatrical release, a period that is to be cut to 15, according to local reports ahead of the official signing. 

According to the reports, domestic pay TV player Canal+, which has long been one of the major support pillars of French cinema, will be able to air movies six months after their theatrical outing, followed by Netflix at 15 months.

The two other major SVOD streaming players active in France, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, will have to wait a further two months after Netflix to gain the right to air post-theatrical movies, while free-to-air broadcasters such as France Télévisions and TF1 will be able to air them after 22 months, with an exclusive window up to the full 36 months. The broadcasters will have the right to strike co-exclusivity agreements with streaming platforms to make movies available in both free-to-air channels and SVOD during this period. 

While Canal+ has committed to invest €200 million a year in movie creation, the concession to Netflix comes after the streaming giant agreed to put additional money into French movies creation. 

Disney and rights collection group SACD have reportedly declared themselves unsatisfied with the new regime and have declined to sign up to it. Disney has threatened to decline to release movies theatrically in the country to make them immediately available on its Disney+ streaming offering. However special exemptions are expected to be put in place for movies with budgets under €5 million and, in the case of big studios such as Disney, €25 million.

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