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French TV Networks France Televisions, M6, TF1 Launch Subscription-Based VOD Service to Rival Netflix

France’s public broadcaster France Televisions is joining forces with the country’s top two commercial networks TF1 and M6 to launch Salto, a subscription-based VOD service in order to compete with Netflix and Amazon.

The service will boast an offer comprising news programs, sports, light entertainment, French and U.S. drama series, documentaries and films. Salto will allow users to access programs on-demand and well as original, exclusive content. The service will aimed at being distributed via a broad range of telecom operators.

France Televisions, TF1 and M6 already have VOD platforms, France.tv, MYTF1 and 6Play, and the idea for Salto is to complement these services, said the networks in a release.

All three TV groups will launch a joint company which will be dedicated to operating Salto.

Delphine Ernotte Cunci, president of France Televisions, applauded the launch of this service which “marks a milestone for the future of France’s TV sector.” “Faced with global services, Salto will allow our users to access a wide range of services and showcase the best of French and European creation.”

Meanwhile, Gilles Pelisson (pictured), TF1’s boss, pointed out Salto will give the three groups enough ammunitions to overcome challenges in the years to come. Nicolas de Tavernost, president of M6, said M6 has been actively pursuing a digital strategy to catch up with changing viewing habits.

France Televisions is currently being reformed, along with other broadcasting services, by the French government. The group comprises five national TV channels and has an audience averaging a 28.3% market share.

TF1 is France’s top free-to-air group with five free-to-air channels. Its flagship channel, TF1 remains France’s most-watched channel with an average of 20% market share. These French channels are also involved in pre-financing French and European series and films as part of quotas imposed by local broadcasting authorities.

Similar initiatives are currently being discussed elsewhere in Europe, notably in the U.K. where talks between BBC, Channel 4 and ITV have recently been reported, said Philippe Bailly, media analyst at NPA Conseil, adding that the goal of these European players is to partner up in order counter the hegemony of GAFFA’s — Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

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