Canal Plus renews commitment to French cinema

Pay-tv company will invest 12.5% of annual turnover into French and European features.

Pay-tv giant Canal Plus has confirmed its long-time investment in French cinema in an 11th-hour accord running up until the end of 2022.

The pay-tv group has been the French cinema sector’s leading private investor for more than 30 years. This is due to legal obligations, dating back to its launch, which requires it to invest 12.5% of its annual turnover in pre-buying French and European feature films.

In 2017, Canal Plus pre-bought 136 features, 117 of them majority French productions, for a total of €153.7m, according to Cnc figures.

Under the new deal,
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Canal Plus Renews Funding Agreement With French Film Industry

  • Variety
Leading French pay-tv group Canal Plus has renewed its contract with French film guilds to invest up to €180 million ($205 million) per year in local and European movies from 2019 to 2023.

The Vivendi-owned French paybox agreed to invest whichever is the greater of two amounts: 12.5% of annual revenue, or between €2.38 ($2.70) and €3.61 ($4.10) per subscriber (depending on the subscriber package). The maximum investment will be capped at $205 million per year – the first time a cap has been put in place.

Although the amount of Canal Plus’ investment has fallen over the past few years – from €211 million in 2013 to an all-time low of €142 million ($240.4 million) last year – because of declining revenues, it’s still one of the biggest commitments of any European broadcaster to funding local movies.

In addition, Studiocanal, the film and TV division of Canal Plus, will now be allowed to produce, in house, four feature films per year. Nicolas Dumont and
See full article at Variety »

Canal Plus Scoops Rights to England’s Premier League Soccer From Altice

  • Variety
Canal Plus has acquired exclusive broadcasting rights to England’s Premier League soccer matches which will kick off in August 2019.

The deal will give Canal Plus subscribers access to the 380 Premier League games during the 2020/21 season across multiple territories in Europe. The value of the deal is in the 115 million range, according to French sports newspaper L’Equipe. The rights for 2016-2019 are currently owned by Altice, Patrick Drahi’s debt-ridden company, who had scooped them from Canal Plus in 2015.

Acquiring England’s Premier League soccer matches is a major coup for Canal Plus, whose core strategy has been built on sports rights, movies and premium series.

Canal Plus recently lost broadcast rights to French Premier League soccer matches for 2020 and 2024 seasons to Chinese-owned Spanish broadcasting group Mediapro, fueling speculations that the pay TV group was on a downward path.

However, Maxime Saada (pictured), Canal Plus Group’s chairman and CEO,
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‘Happy Valley’ Producer & Red Founder Nicola Shindler To Become Studiocanal UK CEO

  • Deadline
Exclusive: Leading UK TV producer Nicola Shindler, founder of Red Production Company, is to become CEO of Studiocanal UK following the departure of long-time UK boss Danny Perkins.

Shindler will join from October 1 and will report to Studiocanal CEO Didier Lupfer. Maxime Saada, CEO of the Canal Plus Group and Studiocanal Chairman, just announced the hire to staff in London.

This is a semi appointment-from-within given that Vivendi-owned Studiocanal has owned a majority stake in Red since 2013. The highly-decorated Shindler will continue to oversee Red, where she has produced BAFTA-winning TV dramas including Happy Valley and Last Tango In Halifax. Her most recent feature was 2012 crime-drama Blood with Paul Bettany and Mark Strong.

In her new position at Studiocanal, Shindler will be tasked with setting up and running a new in-house film production arm developing British features. Studiocanal has a similar operation in France and is initiating the same in Germany.
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Canal Plus to Shut Down Svod Service CanalPlay, Blames Anti-Trust Board Regulations

  • Variety
Canal Plus Group is set to shut down its subscription-based VOD service CanalPlay, which launched seven years ago and saw its subscriber base plummet in late 2015 in the wake of Netflix’s debut.

Canal Plus Group president Maxime Saada told the Senate Committee on Culture that the group’s streaming service had been greatly penalized by the strict regulations imposed by France’s broadcasting authorities and the anti-trust board that banned CanalPlay from having exclusive rights to content it developed and produced.

“Right when Netflix launched, the anti-trust board banned CanalPlay from having exclusive rights to content. Back then we had 800,000 subscribers, now we have 200,000 of them,” Saada said.

“This ban has just been lifted, but it’s too late. In two years, we’ve been crossed off a market, which is gradually replacing linear TV,” Saada said, adding that if French lawmakers didn’t improve the conditions for Canal Plus Group,
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Canal Plus On Course To Shutter Svod Service CanalPlay As Netflix, Amazon Gain Ground

  • Deadline
French pay TV giant Canal Plus is on course to shutter its Svod service CanalPlay due to a sharp fall in subscriptions, Group CEO Maxime Saada has said.

Speaking this week during a session with the culture commission of the French Senate, Saada revealed that subscription numbers for the service have dropped dramatically in recent years from a high of 800,000 to only 200,000 today.

Saada claimed that previous French regulations preventing CanalPlay from showing Canal Plus originals on the service was partly to blame for the demise. “It’s over for CanalPlay. In the last two years, we have been taken off the map in this market, which is replacing television,” he said, specifically citing Netflix’s monthly subscription growth in the territory as a major challenge. The service first launched in 2011 while Netflix arrived in late 2014.

Saada appeared before the commission to discuss regulation of the audiovisual sector. He called
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Canal Plus to close SVoD service CanalPlay in face of Netflix competition

CEO Maxime Saada blames imminent demise on domestic red tape and rise of Netflix.

Canal Plus will close its pioneering SVoD service CanalPlay in the coming months, due to falling subscription numbers in the face of competition from global players led by Netflix and Amazon, CEO Maxime Saada has revealed.

Saada dropped the news this week during a hearing with the culture commission of the French senate around the topic of the legislation governing the country’s audiovisual sector.

Canal Plus first launched the service in November 2011 in a bid to build a strong position in the French SVoD market
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Danny Perkins Exiting Studiocanal to Set Up Production Company

  • Variety
Danny Perkins, a high-profile figure in the British film business as head of Studiocanal’s U.K. operation, is leaving the Vivendi-owned company and striking out on his own.

He has been at producer and distributor Studiocanal since 2006 when it bought Optimum. He was named U.K. CEO in 2011. During his time at Studiocanal he has worked on the “Paddington” movies as well as Aardman’s “Shaun the Sheep.” He exec produced titles including “Macbeth.”

“We announced today the departure of Danny Perkins, who will leave as CEO of Studiocanal U.K. at the end of September,” StudioCanal chairman Maxime Saada said in a memo to staff. “I would like to thank Danny for his remarkable contribution, originally as co-founder of Optimum Releasing and since 2010 as CEO of Studiocanal U.K. A 20-year adventure that saw a small independent distribution company grow and merge into Studiocanal to become a reference player in the U.
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Studiocanal UK CEO Danny Perkins departing company to launch new venture

Perkins will exit in September after eight years at the helm of Studiocanal’s UK arm.

Danny Perkins, CEO of Studiocanal’s UK distribution and production operation, is set to leave the company at the end of September.

The announcement of Perkins’ departure was issued today (June 27) by Studiocanal’s head office in Paris.

Perkins was appointed Studiocanal UK CEO in 2011, five years after the French major had first purchased Optimum Releasing, the UK distribution company he co-founded with Will Clarke, and one year after Optimum was rebranded under the name of the parent company.

Over the last eight years,
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Danny Perkins, Long-Time Studiocanal UK CEO, Leaves To Set Up Production Firm

  • Deadline
Exclusive: In a major development for the UK biz, Studiocanal’s long-time UK chief Danny Perkins is leaving to set up a new London-based production company, I can reveal.

Perkins, who joined Vivendi-owned production and distribution powerhouse Studiocanal when it acquired distributor Optimum in 2006, will leave at the end of September. A successor is expected to be announced in coming months.

After his exit, Perkins — UK CEO since 2010 — will continue to independently produce a handful of projects which he developed at the studio.

Maxime Saada, Chairman of Studiocanal, said, “On behalf of the team at Studiocanal, I would like to thank Danny for his significant contribution and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

In a note sent to Studiocanal employees this afternoon Saada described Perkins’ “remarkable contribution” to the company. He also reaffirmed Studiocanal’s commitment to the UK:

“Our ambitions in the UK do not change.
See full article at Deadline »

Longtime StudioCanal U.K. Head Danny Perkins to Depart Company

Danny Perkins, who has headed up the U.K. arm of European powerhouse StudioCanal for eight years, is to leave to the company.

The news – likely to be a major talking point in the British film industry – was confirmed Wednesday, with Perkins, who joined when Vivendi-owned StudioCanal acquired Optimum Releasing in 2006, set to leave as CEO at the end of September to set up his own production company.

In a memo to staff, StudioCanal chairman Maxime Saada announced the departure, thanking Perkins' "remarkable contribution, originally as co-founder of Optimum Releasing and since 2010 as CEO ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Apple Orders ‘Calls’ English-Language Series Adaptation

  • Variety
Apple continues to fill out its series programming pipeline.

The tech giant’s entertainment arm has given a series order to “Calls,” an English-language adaptation of the French short-form series Canal+. The new English-language series will be a co-production with Canal+.

Created by Timothée Hochet, the original “Calls” allows audiences to experience short stories through real-life audio sources and minimal visuals. As part of the deal, Apple has also acquired the rights to the first season of the French original .

“Calls” was developed and produced under the Canal+ Creation Originale label. Maxime Saada is group chairman and CEO of the French programmer.

The straight to series order comes as Apple continues to load up on content for a yet-to-be-revealed original programming platform. On Wednesday, Apple set a deal for multiple new series from children’s programmer Sesame Workshop. A day earlier, the company ordered “Little America,” an anthology series from
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Apple Orders Short-Form Series ‘Calls’ From Canal+ As First Int’l Co-Production

  • Deadline
Apple has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to an English adaptation of the popular French short-form series Calls, which will be co-produced by Canal+. It marks Apple’s first greenlighted international series and its first international co-production.

Created by Timothée Hochet, Calls takes storytelling innovation to the next level, allowing audiences to experience short stories through real-life audio sources and minimal visuals.

As part of the deal, Apple also has acquired the rights to the existing season of the original French series, which aired last year.

Calls is a Canal+ original series developed and produced under the network’s award-winning Creation Originale label. Canal+ Group Chairman and CEO is Maxime Saada.

A trailer of the French series is below:
See full article at Deadline »

The French Film Industry Shudders After Canal Plus Loses Ligue 1 Soccer Rights – What’s Next?

  • Deadline
There’s been a fair amount of hand-wringing in France this week over Canal Plus’ loss of the rights to Ligue 1 soccer to Spain’s Chinese-backed Mediapro for the 2020-2024 seasons. Why? Because Canal Plus has traditionally been the biggest financier of local cinema under an obligation it has to invest 12.5% of its annual revenues into pre-buying French and European movies. With football a key element for the pay-tv company’s subscribers, the fear is that a loss of key football rights will result in a loss of subs, which will then result in lower revenues and thus lower investment. But while Canal has been riding choppy waters for a while, and while the industry needs reform in general, is this all just a storm in a TV cup?

One French industry source told me this week that Canal parent Vivendi’s chief Vincent Bolloré may have wanted the bidding to go this way.
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Canal Plus’ Loss of Soccer Rights Sparks Fear of Cuts in French Film Industry

  • Variety
French pay-tv group Canal Plus, a major backer of local cinema, has lost the broadcasting rights to French Premier League soccer matches, raising fears in France’s struggling film industry of deep cuts in investment.

Canal Plus lost the rights in an auction Tuesday to Chinese-owned Spanish broadcasting group Mediapro, which is based in Barcelona. Analysts and industry players say the loss could be both a major blow to Canal Plus and to French film, since the pay-tv company is obligated to inject 9.5% of its net sales into financing local movies. Its investment has already dipped from €173 million in 2011 to €151 million in 2016, and is expected to have dropped 20% in 2017.

Along with films and original series such as “Versailles” (pictured), live sport has been key to recruiting subscribers for Canal Plus. But the Vivendi-owned pay-tv group has steadily been losing sports rights to deep-pocketed rivals such as beIN Sports, Altice and now Mediapro,
See full article at Variety »

French cinema industry rattled by Canal Plus football rights debacle

The pay-tv network is a key financier of the country’s cinema.

Canal Plus’s recent loss of broadcast rights to France’s top flight football matches is raising questions in the French film industry over the pay-tv network’s role as a key financier of the country’s cinema.

The pay-tv giant lost the rights to show France’s Ligue 1 for the 2020-24 period after it was outbid by Chinese-backed Spanish media group Mediapro.

The Ligue 1 departure is seen as the latest blow for Canal Plus, which was once France’s sports rights kingpin, but has found itself on
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Former Canal Plus chief Vincent Bolloré placed in custody amid African corruption probe

Billionaire businessman has recently scaled back direct involvement in Canal+.

Vincent Bolloré, the billionaire industrialist who took control of French pay-tv giant the Canal Plus Group in 2015, has been placed in custody amid an anti-corruption investigation into African port concessions run by his transport conglomerate Bolloré.

French media reported on Tuesday that the Brittany-born businessman had been taken into custody at the offices of the judicial police in Nanterre on the outskirts of Paris.

They said he had been summoned to answer questions as part of an investigation, begun some two years ago, into the corruption of “foreign public officials
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Maxime Saada Appointed Chairman of Canal Plus Board; Vincent Bolloré Exits Supervisory Role

  • Variety
Canal Plus Group CEO Maxime Saada has been appointed chairman of the company’s board of directors, and is set to take full rein of the Vivendi-owned European film and TV powerhouse’s operations.

Saada will replace Jean-Christophe Thiery at the helm of the board of directors. Thiery will become chairman of the supervisory board of Canal Plus Group, replacing Vincent Bolloré, who remains Vivendi chairman.

Under Saada’s leadership, Canal Plus Group stabilized its money-losing pay-tv unit Canal Plus in France through the creation of new subscriber packages and alliances with telecom operators such as Orange. Saada is also responsible for successfully executing a cost-cutting plan which allowed Canal Plus Group to save $410 million in 2017.

Saada told Variety that his new position on the directors’ board will allow him to keep carrying out the company’s strategy, which he said has been paying off. The executive added that
See full article at Variety »

Canal+ Ups Maxime Saada To Chairman; Vincent Bolloré Exits Supervisory Post

  • Deadline
Canal+ Group General Manager Maxime Saada has been appointed Chairman of the Managing Board, henceforth heading all of the pay-tv giant’s operations. Saada, who joined Canal in 2004, succeeds Jean-Christophe Thiery who becomes Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

That last move is significant in that Thiery will replace Vivendi Chairman Vincent Bollore in the role. Vivendi is the parent company of Canal and for the past few years, Bolloré has been closely involved in its affairs as the company suffered through competition, subscriber losses and executive shifts. Thiery is a trusted lieutenant who has spent his entire media career within Bolloré’s empire.

In February, Canal said it was reorganizing itself around three axes: France (pay and free TV), International (TV outside France) and Cinema (Studiocanal and French/European film acquisitions).

Going forward, Saada will oversee the three divisions which are respectively run by Franck Cadoret, Jacques Du Puy and Didier Lupfer.
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Studiocanal launches in-house TV production company

New unit aimed at developing and producing TV series in France.

Paris-based pan-European production and distribution company Studiocanal has launched a new French TV production unit, aimed at developing and producing TV series in France.

Parent company the Canal+ Group said the new venture would combine the know-how of Studiocanal and its high-end TV label Canal+ Création Originale, which commissions shows for the group’s pay-tv channels.

Since its launch some 15 years ago, Canal+ Création Originale has been a driving force in the rise of high quality TV drama in France and Europe, supporting the development and financing of a number of hit shows such as Versailles, The Young Pope, Baron Noir and The Bureau.

The creation of the new unit will enable the Canal+ Group to have a bigger stake in the high-end TV series it helps develop and finance in the future.

The new company joins Studiocanal’s network of award-winning, high-end TV production
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