Canal+ proposed Tim group to create a joint venture to acquire television and invest in producing original audio-visual content starting from October. The majority shares of the new project, called Canale+, will be held by the Italian company, while French partner Vivendi (owner of Canal+) will provide its expertise, such as Studio Canal and Studio Plus, specialised in film and TV series production, respectively. An initial investment is planned of 100 million euros.
The operation is openly an attempt to fight Netflix’s TV offer in southern Europe and a way for Vivendi to recover from the failure to acquire Mediaset Premium. The creation of a new Italian pay TV, indeed, may be the way to renegotiate with the Berlusconi family, which would be forced to come to terms to combat competition.
The joint venture will be discussed by the Telecom board, which is already facing the new ownership after Flavio Cattaneo relinquished his role as Chief Executive Officer. According to the partnership proposal, the new CEO may be Amos Genish, Chief Convergence Officer of Vivendi, who would work with Arnaud de Puyfontaine (Executive Chairman of Telecom and CEO of Vivendi) and Giuseppe Rocchi (Deputy Chairman of Telecom).
These last few years haven’t been rosy for Canal+: the French group lost up to 500 thousand subscribers in 2016 and this operation is part of a “rescue” plan including other deals with foreign operators (as well as with Apple and Android) to improve the digital provision. The partnership with Italy is part of a long-term expansion project at European level.