The negotiations concern both Orange Studio and OCS, Orange’s cinema, television and pay-TV divisions.
What future for the channels and the platform SCO if HBO arrives in France with HBO Max ? This question may be about to be answered. According to Varietythe group Canal+ entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire the cinema and pay-TV activities of Orange.
The acquisition has been in the works for months, and would include both Orange Studio and SCOthe cinema, television and pay-TV divisions of Orange, knowing that Vivendi – the parent company of Canal+ – already owns 33.3% of OCS.
Such a deal must first be submitted for approval by the authorities. In 2011, the antitrust commission thus blocked the Group’s attempt Canal+ to merge with SCO and launch a premium pay TV channel. But since then, American streaming services have invested in the French market and local players must unite to be able to fight. Netflix alone has more than 13 million subscribers in France. A number that Canal + (and its 9.6 million current French subscribers) could match by absorbing SCO (which has nearly 3 million subscribers).
Canal+ also reportedly pledged to maintain the company’s workforce, according to a source cited by Variety.
It remains to be seen what SCO will have to put in the balance at the time of the deal. His multi-year deal with HBO is about to end. However, it is with the series of the American premium channel (Game of Thrones, The Sopranos etc.) that SCO has been making its butter for over a decade. But Warner Bros. Discovery, which intends to concretely implement HBO in France from 2024, with its platform HBO Max (the French commissioning was planned for 2023 but has been postponed), will no longer need a French distributor in the long term. SCO can no longer count on HBO. In the meantime, for the 2023 financial year, the prestige series of the American broadcaster will be on view at Prime Video in France, since Warner has signed a deal with the Amazon group. It is there, most certainly (the official announcement has not yet been made) that we will see for example The Last of Us...