×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

OCS Innovates to Win in Shifting Landscape

When OCS entered the scene in France in November 2008, the media landscape looked wholly different. Netflix sent DVDs by mail; “The Sopranos” had come to an end, robbing HBO of a flagship title; and French viewers would sometimes have to wait weeks — or months — to catch up on the buzziest international series.

Much has changed in the intervening decade, and the pay TV bouquet played a significant role in affecting one major shift.

In 2012, OCS sought to curb the threat of online piracy by instituting the US+24 service, airing episodes of HBO’s newest flagship series “Game of Thrones” within a day of its U.S. premiere.

Both the media landscape and the pay TV service have continued to innovate and evolve since then, but one thing has remained a constant ever since OCS launched wielding an output deal from a certain premium cable operator.

“Our backbone is HBO, and that will remain a central part of our identity,” says Boris Duchesnay, OCS’ programming director.

“We have a deal with HBO that has grown over the years. We started with a simple output deal and transformed that into total exclusivity. We have all of their programs and they don’t go anywhere else. And more, we offer their entire catalog on subscription VOD. That’s an integral part of our DNA, and it won’t change.”

In 2017, OCS signed a new deal with HBO, securing the latter’s full catalog well into the future. At the same time, those partners will head into a future short of one flagship series.

While OCS now offers episodes of “Game of Thrones” in simulcast with the U.S., the massively popular series will draw to a close following a six-episode run beginning this April.

“No doubt it stings to say goodbye to ‘Game of Thrones,’ but we are excited by HBO’s upcoming lineup,” Duchesnay says.

“We have standout series that draw viewers, and we’ll have them throughout the entire year.”

Beyond such upcoming offerings as “Westworld,” “Watchmen,” “Big Little Lies” and “True Detective,” OCS also has exclusive rights for non-HBO series including “Atlanta,” “The Walking Dead” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” — buzzy titles that hold commensurate appeal to the same audiences enamored by “Game of Thrones.”

And while Orange’s pay TV service has made a point of delivering subscribers one-stop-shopping for the most celebrated titles from across the pond, it has also taken care to invest in local productions.

The service produces five to six 30-minute series a year through its OCS Signature arm, offering young creators the same deal: A contained budget and boundless creative freedom. Recent hits have included the naturist cop show “Nu,” the sci-fi drama “Missions” and the slacker comedy “Irresponsible.”

“We’re hands-on at the beginning, when developing the first few episodes, but afterwards we’re not going in to re-work every subsequent script,” says Duchesnay.

“We don’t want to lose time, because the market is not just France, it’s worldwide. So we have to secure our place with a flexible working approach adapted to the current landscape.”

Also in 2017, Orange CEO Stéphane Richard announced the creation of Orange Content, a joint venture between OCS and Orange Studio that would invest €100 million ($114 million) in prestige productions over a period of five years for series to be broadcast on OCS platforms.

The group plans to invest in international and local, French-language series, all with an eye toward audacious fare that can travel abroad.

This year, they will broadcast the Umberto Eco adaptation “The Name of the Rose,” a John Turturro led series budgeted at $29.5 million and co-produced with Italy’s RAI television network.

While contracts stipulate that the show airs in Italy first, OCS subscribers won’t have long to wait in order to get their fix.

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content