Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France and Orange sign global news partnership


Didier Lombard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom-Orange and Alain de Pouzilhac, Chairman and CEO of Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France last week signed, in the presence of Christine Ockrent, Deputy CEO of Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France, and Xavier Couture, Director of Content of Orange, a strategic global partnership for news over the web, mobiles and TV.

This agreement aims to extend FRANCE 24's and Radio France International's (RFI) international broadcasting as well as jointly develop innovative projects. This content will be made available in Orange TV’s six African territories.

Thanks to this partnership with Orange, the news departments of Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France, FRANCE 24 and RFI are undertaking the largest ever deployment of their news services, in all languages, over the largest number of networks (satellite, IPTV, web, mobiles).

FRANCE 24's broadcasting on Orange networks will shortly increase from six to 13 countries and from seven to 36 channels (IPTV, web, mobile and satellite). RFI's live and podcast feeds will increase from the 12 currently available on LiveRadio to nearly 80 within the next few weeks. RFI's broadcasting will also be extended over the Internet and mobiles.

In France, from January 14, FRANCE 24 will be available in French and English on Orange TV (ADSL and satellite), TV over Internet and TV on Orange mobiles. The Arabic version will start broadcasting by the end of April.

The partnership signed between Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France and Orange also aims to enrich the news experience available to Orange customers. A new interactive service will allow viewers to pick and choose from all the channel's broadcasts and have immediate access to televised news updated every half hour. It will allow in-depth analysis of key news topics using audiovisual reporting, debates and documentaries. There will also be a dedicated channel to cover large events and special editions of FRANCE 24. This is a first for Orange, never having until now produced an interactive service for a channel outside the Group.

For RFI, the mobile services running on a trial basis in the Ivory Coast and in Cameroon will be deployed in six African countries. RFI's "Journal Afrique" available via the Audiotel kiosk has shown rapid and great success, particularly in the Ivory Coast with 240,000 subscribers recording a daily peak of 175,000 calls. New services are also being studied to exploit RFI's content, brands and audiences among Orange customers worldwide.

Meanwhile in France Orange has signed an agreement with the national producers' associations to invest 6% of revenues from its new premium film and TV package Orange Cinema Series in financing domestic productions, a figure expected to reach between €10mn and €15mn per year.