They made it official “the signing of a memorandum of understanding”. The audiovisual group Canal+ will acquire OCS, the bouquet of pay channels from the telecommunications operator Orange, as well as its subsidiary for the co-production of films and series, they announced on Monday January 9 in a joint press release. The two French groups also explain that “Canal+ will become the sole shareholder of both companies following this transaction”OCS and Orange Studio.
#Agreement🤝 The CANAL+ Group and Orange are pleased to announce that they have entered into a memorandum of understanding with a view to… https://t.co/9cjEihHdFI
The amount of the transaction is not specified. But, according to the business daily The echoes, “once is not custom, it is the seller, that is to say Orange, who pays money to the Canal+ buyer”. Indeed, OCS, launched in 2008 and which has some 3 million subscribers, is “in debt and at a loss”. This amount “would be less than 100 million euros and above all would not take the form of a dry check to Canal+”claim The echoes. According to the newspaper, this agreement closes a “negotiation of almost two years”.
“Orange will have to bear the negative cash flows [quand plus d’argent sort de l’entreprise qu’il n’en rentre] future »continues the newspaper, according to which “the operator has undertaken to pay guaranteed minimums to Canal+ over three to four years”. “OCS, billed 11 euros per month alone, has accumulated between 400 million and 500 million euros in losses since its launch, according to our information”add The echoes.
At present, Canal+ is the main distributor of OCS and holds a 33.34% stake in it, which gave it a right of first refusal. Since 1er January, OCS lost one of its major contents, the emblematic series of the American chain HBO, like Game Of Thrones Where The Sopranos. HBO has decided not to renew their distribution contract, in order to reserve its programs for its own streaming platform, which is not yet available in France.
Strong “competition in the audiovisual sector”
In the press release, Orange notes the strong “competition in the audiovisual sector”who “Keep escalating” for OCS “with the emergence of powerful international platforms”, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or even Disney+. Orange’s objectives with this transaction were to “sustain development” of OCS and Orange Studio, “while preserving jobs and pre-financing creation”, i.e. film financing obligations, according to the statement. Always according to The echoes, “Canal+ would have undertaken to take over all of the hundred or so employees of OCS”.
“First film and television studio in Europe, StudioCanal [la filiale de production audiovisuelle de Canal+] has many assets to promote the Orange Studio catalog », underline the two groups in their press release. Orange Studio “has more than 200 co-productions to its credit as well as a catalog of nearly 1,800 audiovisual and cinematographic works, including Oscar-winning and emblematic films such as The Artist Where The Father »they said.
With this sale, Orange is abandoning the creation of content and once again becoming a simple distributor via its television offers. In office since last April, the new CEO of Orange, Christel Heydemann, will present the group’s next strategic plan for 2030 on February 16, following the publication of the results for the 2022 financial year.