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French Broadcasters to Launch Joint Streaming Service Next Year to Battle Netflix

Amazon and Netflix are soon to get some Gallic competition from Team France. French regulators gave the green light Monday to plans by the country’s heavyweight broadcasters to launch a joint streaming service, Salto, to fight the global giants.

Pubcaster France Televisions has pacted with its commercial rivals M6 and TF1 on the new subscription platform, which is expected to roll out in the first quarter of 2020.

“Now that Salto has been approved, we will at last be able to put together Team France in broadcasting, which I have been longing for,” said Delphine Ernotte Cunci, CEO of France Televisions. “The launch of the platform will very soon give us what we need to compete against international players on our own territory.”

The partners said that their pooled resources signified an “ambitious local response” to “evolving consumer expectations” and would give them a greater role in the domestic French and wider European TV market.

Gilles Pélisson, CEO of the TF1 group, said that Salto embodies “a new ambition for the French broadcasting industry” and that the antitrust approval “demonstrates the authorities’ awareness for the need to support…industry players in making the necessary innovative changes in order to face new challenges.”

M6 boss Nicolas de Tavernost added: “Our channels are popular with French people, our content is attractive and our technology is very advanced – all reasons to welcome the forthcoming launch of an ambitious joint offer like Salto.”

The news out of France mirrors that from the U.K., where the two largest broadcasters, ITV and the BBC, are launching their “best of British” streaming service BritBox. It still needs the final regulatory green light but is slated to go live later this year. BritBox is already available in North America, where it has about half a million subscribers.

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