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Canal+ France drops Warner TV channel in carriage dispute

French pay TV platform Canal+ has dropped Warner Bros Discovery channel Warner TV from its line up as the result of a carriage dispute between the two. In a statement, the US studio said: “We regret that Warner TV is no longer available on Canal+ and MyCanal due to the lack of an agreement between the two groups. Warner TV is not stopping and will be available again in Metropolitan France soon.”

No further details were added, but it is possible that the dispute is related to WBD’s plans to launch its own dedicated streaming service in France during 2024. Any carriage deal now would have to factor in how that pivot to streaming will affect ongoing commercial relations between the two companies in the longer term.

Warner TV joined the Canal+ platform in 2017 with much fanfare. At the time, the platform said: “We are delighted to be the first operator in Europe to offer subscribers the Warner TV channel on a fully exclusive basis on the French market, thereby boosting our offering in terms of series channels and our partnership with the Turner group (the WBD subsidiary responsible for channel carriage agreements).”

There has been no official word, but reports on Twitter suggest all WBD channels in France are currently unavailable on Canal+. One customer of the pay TV platform complained that a total of seven channels have disappeared from the service including the likes of CNN and TCM Cinema. In response to demands for discounts, Canal+ has said “discussions with Turner Group (the subsidiary which handles carriage deals) are still ongoing. If necessary, our customer service is at your disposal on this subject.”

There is already some evidence that WBD’s streaming plans are causing disruption in the French market. Scores of HBO series have recently disappeared from pay TV platform OCS following the end of a content supply agreement. Ironically, Canal+ has just announced plans to acquire OCS from parent company Orange.

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