Canal+ is expanding its offer and strengthening its position against American platforms: the audiovisual group will acquire OCS, the package of pay channels from the telecommunications operator Orange, which is currently losing money. The two French groups formalized on Monday “the signing of a memorandum of understanding”. “Canal + will become, at the end of this transaction, the sole shareholder” of OCS as well as Orange Studio, a subsidiary of co-production of films and series of Orange, they indicated in a joint press release. The amount of the transaction is not specified. But according to the newspaper Les Echos, “once will not hurt, it is the seller, that is to say Orange, who pays the money to the Canal+ buyer”. Indeed, OCS, launched in 2008 and which has some 3 million subscribers, is “in debt and in losses”. The sum retained for the transaction “would be less than 100 million euros and above all would not take the form of ‘a dry check to Canal+’, say Les Echos. “Orange will have to bear the negative cash flows [quand l’entreprise sort plus d’argent qu’elle n’en rentre, ndlr] 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”, underline Les Echos. almost two years”. Currently, Canal+ is the main distributor of OCS and holds a 33.34% stake in it, which gave it a right of first refusal. Since January 1, OCS has lost one of its major content, the emblematic series of the American channel HBO such as Game of Thrones or The Sopranos. Here are all the HBO series that have disappeared from the catalog of OCSEmploi et créationHBO has decided to not to renew the distribution contract for these series, in order to reserve its programs for its own streaming platform, which is not yet available in France. In the press release, Orange notes the strong “competition in the audiovisual sector”, which “has continued to intensify” 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 the development” of OCS and Orange Studio, “while preserving jobs and pre-financing creation”, i.e. the financing obligations of the cinema, according to the press release. According to Les Echos, “Canal+ has undertaken to take over all of the hundred or so employees of OCS”. “Leading film and television studio in Europe, StudioCanal [la filiale de production audiovisuelle de Canal+, ndlr] 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 or The Father“, they specified. With this sale, Orange abandons the creation of content and once again becomes a simple distributor via its TV offers. In office since last April, the new CEO of Orange, Christel Heydemann, will present on February 16 the next, a strategic plan for the group by 2030, in the wake of the publication of the results for the 2022 financial year.
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