Gallic giant merges its Cyfra Plus with n

Vivendi’s Canal Plus Group has finalized the merger of its Cyfra Plus Polish satcaster with rival pay TV platform, owned by Polish TV operator TVN.

Cyfra and n will form a new pay TV operator in which Canal Plus Group will have 51% stake and TVN 32%, the Gallic group announced Monday.

The satcaster will be jointly managed by CEO Markus Tellenbach and deputy CEO Beata Monka.

Canal Plus Group has also paid €230 million ($300 million) for a 40% stake in N-Vision, which holds 51% of TVN.

The Gallic pay TV giant said the merger will create synergy savings and revenue growth worth $72.6 million and provide subscribers with “exclusive content and the latest technology, including the broadest high-def offering in the Polish market.”

Also Monday, Nickelodeon announced n would launch a new bouquet, Kids XL package, including Nickelodeon HD. n will also add Nick Jr.

The merger enables Canal Plus, whose Cyfra Plus is Poland’s second largest satcaster with 1.5 million subscribers, to consolidate its position in the local pay TV and step into the free TV, as TVN also owns free-to-air channels.

“The timing for this deal is right. Cyfra Plus had lost some subscriber momentum since the arrival of n on the pay TV landscape,” explained Christophe Cherblanc, head of media research at Societe Generale. “The market was becoming saturated with three big pay TV groups: Cyfrowy Polsat, Cyfra Plus and n. Other European markets have only one major pay TV platform, or two, as in Italy.”

The new platform is expected to reach 2.5 million subscribers by year-end.

Deal has yet to be greenlit by anti-trust authorities.

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