Gaul's Canal Plus Hooks Up With

French paybox has second-window rights to new shows including 'Girls'

PARIS — Vivendi-owned Canal Plus Group has inked a five-year licensing deal with HBO, covering second-window rights to HBO’s new series, including “Girls,” “The Newsroom” and “Banshee.”

Deal covers linear and on-demand rights to the shows on Canal Plus’ pay-TV channels and free-to-air nets D8 and D17 as well as all devices, including mobiles, tablets and game consoles.

Although the French group inked an exclusive output deal with Warner Bros. in October, it doesn’t include first-window rights to HBO drama series. These are held by telco-owned pay-TV platform Orange Cinema Series, which signed an output agreement with HBO in 2008 and renewed it in January.

Before closing the Canal Plus pact, HBO was selling second-window rights to various French nets. For instance, “True Blood” was broadcast on TF1-owned channel NT1, while “Boardwalk Empire” aired on M6-owned Paris Premiere.

Canal Plus has acquired second-window rights to select HBO shows since 2008; among them, “Game of Thrones” has been a huge ratings success on the paybox. The first season averaged 17.9% of subscribers and 1 million viewers.

The group also nabbed first-run pay-TV rights to Pennsylvania-set action drama “Banshee,” which bowed in January on Cinemax.

The HBO deal strengthens Canal Plus Group’s position as a leading purveyor of U.S. shows and movies in France. The paybox also has output agreements with Universal, Fox, Paramount and Disney.

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