Orange could make payTV content partnership with Canal +: CEO says it does not want to be majority operator of Pay TV channel

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On August 27, 2010, there was a press rumour that Orange (France Telecom) is close to concluding an agreement with Vivendi-owned Canal + station that would manage its encrypted movie channels, “La Tribune” wrote. This has implications for Africa where both operate in the Pay TV field.

The newspaper explained that negotiations could be concluded "in the coming weeks, perhaps by the end of September (2010)."  "Officially, it is a partnership," tied around an equally owned joint venture (50% each), with joint control over TV programs, a rotating presidency, added the newspaper.  In reality, "Canal+ will manage most of it including content" said La Tribune.

Questioned by AFP, Orange refused to comment on the article in La Tribune, noting simply that “it is in line with what Stéphane Richard announced: the desire to seek partners in the TV sector to continue the adventure”. "Things are not done, otherwise we would have announced it," said the operator.

The CEO of France Telecom, Stephane Richard, had said in July that the group, which is in the pay television sector since 2008, would now focus on "content partnerships." Its purpose is not to be a "majority operator in a pay TV channel," he said.

About talks with Canal +, Richard highlighted “there was a lot of synergies to look at what we can do together. Canal + is a group that has extensive experience and a very strong position in the pay television business”. Vivendi, the parent of the encrypted TV channel, was not immediately available to respond on the topic.