• Industry

Canal+ Signs a Historic Agreement with European Cinema

In order to fight against the rise of streaming platforms, the premium French television channel Canal+ has just formed an agreement that gradually promises to revolutionize the French and European audiovisual landscape.

In a historic agreement, the parent company, Vivendi, has contracted with the world of cinema to keep streaming platforms at bay. The principle is simple. Canal+ will be able to broadcast the films six months after their release, exclusively for nine months (against eight months previously), a major change for the encrypted channel that will be possible only in exchange for financial investment in French and European cinema – a promise to invest up to €600 million in French but also European film production until 2024. It must be said that the Vivendi group did not take this decision lightly. The mission is to be able to counter the big streaming platforms which succeeded in making a breakthrough in the European audiovisual landscape. From the start of 2022, Canal+ will broadcast films such as Black Widow, Cruella, Titane, and The Father.

Maxime Saada, head of Canal+, has never hidden his frustration at seeing the emergence of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, or even Disney+ playing in the same field as the encrypted channel. He denounced the fact that the streaming platforms wanted authorization to broadcast films in France 12 months after their release, whereas currently, they have to wait 36 ​​months. “French cinema is heading for disaster if nothing is done,” he repeated. “The group invests nearly €200 euros each year in French cinema against €50 to €60 million that the platforms should invest in cumulative. If our core film advantages are called into question, there will be no more reason for our group to invest so much in this area.” By committing today to invest €600 million in European cinema until 2024, a sum being tacitly renewable for the following years, in exchange for shortening the deadline for broadcasting the movies on its channel, Canal+ thus hopes to win the showdown, especially against Netflix.

Indeed, an important point has still not been resolved: the ‘media chronology.’ This last very delicate point still remains to be negotiated. What is it about? This is the agreement that will allow a film to be shown from its theatrical release until its availability on streaming platforms. While the streaming platforms must wait 36 ​​months to broadcast a film, Canal+ will be able to broadcast the films only six months after their theatrical release.

If the platforms risk considering that the agreement between Canal + and French cinema is anti-competitive, the French authorities could then decide to draft a decree at the risk of not being suitable for anyone. Clearly, the war between streaming platforms and a group like Canal + has only just begun!