French reports suggest Canal+ is poised to acquire pay TV rival OCS

Canal+ subscriber numbers upAfter a protracted period of courting, French media giant Canal+ is on the verge of acquiring the PayTV and film assets of leading telco Orange, according to reports in leading French newspaper Les Echos. According to the respected news outlet, employees of Orange divisions OCS and Orange Studio were advised yesterday that negotiations are accelerating and a deal could be unveiled in a matter of days.

Vivendi-owned Canal+ has always been in poll position to acquire Orange’s PayTV division OCS because it already owns a 34% stake in the business and has an ongoing commercial arrangement with it. The addition of Orange Studios also makes sense because it could be folded into Canal+’s production and distribution arm StudioCanal. Other potential suitors such as Mediawan are now believed to be out of the equation.

Despite having around 3 million subscribers, OCS is reported to be heavily indebted. It is also set to lose control of HBO content in the near future, as Warner Bros Discovery gears up for a French launch, at some unspecified date in the near future.

Canal+’s acquisition of Orange’s assets will inevitably be subject to regulatory review – though the PayTV giant will argue that it is justified in the face of Netflix’s rapid progress in the market. It is not clear whether the decision to push ahead will have an impact on Canal+’s current commitment to local SVOD platform Salto.

Tags: Canal+, France, OCS

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