Magazine article Screen International

Canal Plus Renews Commitment to French Cinema

Magazine article Screen International

Canal Plus Renews Commitment to French Cinema

Article excerpt

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 [Euro]153.7m, according to CNC figures.

Under the new deal, Canal Plus will also be permitted to produce up to four features in-house a year for the first time. Previously, it could only pre-buy features.

The accord, which is re-negotiated every four years, has come under pressure in recent years, as Canal Plus gets to grips with the growing competition from global digital players for sports and film rights and, subsequently, spectators.

Voices both inside and outside Canal Plus question whether this level of investment in cinema still makes sense for the company in the era of the streaming giants.

Canal Plus has been lobbying hard for changes to France’s strict chronology laws, to reduce the release window between when its feature film investments are released theatrically and when they can air on its channels. …

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