Canal+ reportedly in talks to buy OCS and Orange Studio

Canal+ is in advanced talks to buy Orange’s film and TV divisions, according to a report by Variety.

According to the US trade paper, the pair could enter exclusive discussions as early as September over the acquisition. Canal+ parent Vivendi already owns a one third stake in OCS, Orange’s pay TV arm. Variety reports that an agreement could also cover the acquisition of Orange’s production arm, Orange Studio.

OCS’s flagship content deal with HBO is set to come to an end next year. Warner Bros. Discovery, the newly combined entity that owns HBO, has cancelled the planned rollout of streamer HBO Max in France in favour of a longer-term plan to roll out a combined HBO-Discovery+ service, but is nevertheless unlikely to grant OCS exclusive rights to HBO content under any new deal.

France’s competition watchdog blocked a planned merger between Canal+ and OCS a decade ago, but the French competitive landscape has been transformed by the emergence of global streaming competitors that challenged the pay TV operator’s market dominance.

A merger could enable Canal+ to better compete with streamers such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. Canal+ could also offer distribution to the new Warner Bros. Discovery streamer when it emerges. The pay TV operator has adopted a super-aggregator strategy with regards to rival streamers and is soon to add Paramount+ to its offering.

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