×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Canal Plus Plans HD Channel Dedicated to TV Series

Canal Plus Series will offer 'Hannibal,' 'Utopia,

PARIS  — A top purveyor of original drama and high-profile imports, paybox Canal Plus is launching a premium HD channel dedicated to series to drive up subscriptions. 

 Canal Plus Series, set to bow Sept. 21, will boast 20 to 30 new series per year, kicking off with NBC’s “Hannibal,” Channel 4’s “Utopia,” FX’s “The Americans” and Netflix’s “Lilyhammer.” 
 
Canal Plus Series will also feature U.S. series 48 hours to seven days after their U.S. broadcast, starting with the third seasons of two ABC skeins: Shonda RhimesScandal” and Mike Kelley’s “Revenge.” And every weekend, the net will air marathon programming of such popular series as Showtime’s “Homeland” and original Canal Plus skeins, “Rebound,” “Mafiosa” and “Working Girls.”
 
“Most series that will air on primetime and second part of evenings will be new and exclusive and won’t necessarily be slated on Canal Plus’ flagship channel afterward,” said Maxime Saada, Canal Plus marketing director. “Our goal is to double up the volume of shows we currently air.”
 
Saada pointed out 66% of subscribers claim series are a strong motivation for them to join Canal Plus, according to a recent survey. Films and Sports are still the top two motivations for subscribers, he said. 
 
Canal Plus France revenues were slightly up last year. Subscriptions remained stable despite the recession, edging down about 80,000 to 9.7 million.
 
Besides stabilizing and ramping up subscriptions, Canal Plus is also looking to counterattack piracy and have an extra platform to showcase its vast array of series, said Manuel Alduy, Canal Plus’ topper of film and foreign series acquisitions. 
 
The channel will have to fulfill the investment quotas set by the French broadcasting authorities (CSA), which means it will have to dedicate 60% of its programming slate to European programs, including 40% of Gallic content. Asked why Canal Plus waited this long to launch a series channel, Alduy said Canal Plus didn’t have the necessary volume of French shows to fulfill the CSA requirements. 
 
Another obvious incentive is to compete with Orange Cinema Series (OCS), the rival premium paybox operated by Telco group Orange, which has reached more than 1 million subscribers ; and get prepared to face off digital players such as Netflix, which has been rumored to prepare an expansion across Europe. 
 
Canal Plus inked a five-year licensing deal with HBO, covering second-window rights to new series, in April; as OCS still has exclusive first-window rights. The paybox nevertheless has output agreements with Universal, Fox, Paramount and Disney.

The sixth channel of the pay TV bouquet, Canal Plus Series will be included in the subscription price.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    Judge Sides With Michael Jackson Estate in 'Leaving Neverland' Dispute

    A federal judge is leaning towards granting the Michael Jackson estate’s move to take HBO to arbitration in its dispute over the documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Judge George Wu issued a tentative ruling on Thursday in which he denied HBO’s motion to dismiss the estate’s case. Wu is expected to make the ruling final by the [...]

  • Homecoming

    Peak Storytelling Here as Podcasts, Short Form Ride New Wave

    The concept of peak TV is nothing new. But scratch the surface of original content these days, and it’s no longer about television — from podcasts and short-form video, storytelling itself is at a peak. Thanks to audio, video and other new platform companies including Gimlet, Quibi, Wondery, iHeartMedia and Serial Box, listeners and viewers [...]

  • Patti Smith Cambridge Folk Festival

    Patti Smith Muses Over the Many Ways to Tell a Story

    It’s Sept. 11, and Patti Smith has been thinking a lot about people who died. This is understandable. It is, of course, the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and an annual time of mourning for New York City, the city that Smith adopted as her hometown 50-plus years [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content