Canal + has reached a deal to acquire OCS and Orange Studio, the pay TV arm and film division of Orange, France’s leading telco group.
Under the agreement, Canal + will be the sole shareholder of both OCS and Orange Studio, which handles series production, as well as co-production and theatrical distribution of movies. Canal + did not disclose any figure related to the deal.
OCS ranks as France’s second local pay TV service behind Canal+. Orange Studio, meanwhile, has so far co-produced 200 titles and boasts a library of more than 1,800 TV series and films, such as Michel Hazanavicius’s “The Artist,” and Florian Zeller’s “The Father,” both of which have won Oscars.
“Since the respective creation of OCS and Orange Studio, the competition in the TV sector has kept intensifying, notably for OCS, with the emerging of powerful global platforms,” said Canal + in a release.
“It’s in this context that Orange has wished to protect the development of these two divisions while protecting jobs and the pre-financing of movies,” the statement continued.
Canal + and Orange have been in business together since 2011. Canal+ Group has been distributing OCS on its platform as part of its cable bundle for the last 12 years. Prior to this deal, Canal+ already owned 33.3% of OCS.
As a pay TV service, OCS has to invest in local and European films, like Canal+, and benefits from an exclusive window set at six months after their theatrical release — way before global streamers like Netflix and Amazon which must wait 15 and 17 months, respectively. OCS signed in February 2021 a three-year pact with film orgs to invest at least €60 million on French and European film in the three years. Canal+’s statement referring to Orange’s “pre-financing of movies” indicates that OCS will likely fulfill its obligations until 2024.
The pact will now be reviewed by staffers’ representatives and will be notified by the anti-trust board in France.
More to come
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