Patrick Drahi’s Altice France, the French branch of the telecom company, has entered exclusive discussions to acquire a majority stake in Molotov, the French media start-up co-launched by Cannes Film Festival president Pierre Lescure and Jean-Louis Blanc, the founder of Allocine.
If approved by France’s anti-trust board, the deal will allow Molotov, a disruptive, digital TV service, to fast-track its growth domestically and overseas. Meanwhile, Altice France will be able to provide its subscribers for SFR, RED, et RMC Sport, to access Molotov’s OTT services.
Boasting approximately seven million users, Molotov has succeeded in getting most French TV groups onboard their subscription OTT service. Under the deal, Molotov will keep its brand.
Blanc said Molotov’s discussions with “Patrick Drahi, Alain Weill and their teams have instantly reflected a common vision with regards to the development, innovation and growth” of the service.
“This new chapter will give us the ressources to become the Spotify of TV in France and in international markets,” Blanc added.
Alain Weill, the managing director of Altice France, said the company looked forward to “partner up with Jean-David Blanc, a businessman who is behind two major French web successes, AlloCiné and Molotov.”
Weill also said Altice France will work hand-in-hand with Blanc and his team to turn Molotov into a key digital service with both premium content and a high-speed infrastructure.
Ranking behind Orange, Altice France is the country’s second largest telco company with SFR, and it also boasts 14 TV channels, including BFM and RMC.