Canal+ Groupe is the dominant force in French pay television. Canal+ itself is the umbrella for more than 20 different premium channels and a small collection of free strands including general entertainment channel C8 (formerly D8), music channel CStar (ex-D17), and CNews (the old i-Tele). These are broadcast by cable or via satellite broadcaster CanalSat, which also offers other third-party TV and radio channels. Sport and movies are its two key offerings. Among other exclusive deals, the group has broadcast rights for almost 90% of French Ligue 1 soccer games as well as a large package of Champions League games, and also first broadcast rights deals with several major studios. Associated company StudioCanal is Europe's leading film and television production studio, actively involved in the funding and production of European as well as English-language feature films and television programs. It is also Europe's biggest film distributor, and controls the world's third largest home entertainment library. Yet despite its high profile and influence, Canal+ audience share remains small, and had crashed to just 1.2% of France's prime-time audience by late 2016, putting it well behind domestic rivals TF1, France 2, M6 and France 3. The French business has been under intense pressure for several years, with a steady decline in paid subscribers - from over 6m in 2015 to 5.25m by the end of 2016 - as well as revenues. However that loss was partly offset by viewers through new wholesale partnerships with Orange and Free, and growth in Poland, Francophone Africa and Vietnam, where the group has another 2.8m subscribers. Revenues for 2016 were E5.25bn. Jean-Christophe Thiery is chairman with Maxime Saada as general manager. For regulatory reasons, the Canal+ Groupe has only a controlling 51.5% shareholding in the Canal+ broadcast channels, with the remaining shares publicly held. It has full control of the Canalsat platform and Studiocanal production division. The group is itself owned by French conglomerate Vivendi, whose predecessor company was one of the original investors in Canal+ when it launched in 1983. It has gradually accumulated additional shares, finally buying out minority shareholder Lagardere in 2013. Adbrands no longer profiles this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services.
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Who are the competitors of Canal+? See also Media Sector for competitive companies
Capsule checked 24th March 2017
Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Dec 2016: Ads of the Week: "Kitchen". Client Canal (formerly Canal+) always inspires Havas-owned BETC to turn out its very best work, and this latest is no exception. We've seen miniature versions of movie moments like this before in promo ads, but not presented in such an imaginative, and distinctly French, setting. Those little touches! The dinosaur eggs, the football caviar, the sliced cartoons, grated police car and de-shelled knight - all superb. Great work.
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Jun 2016: Vivendi's attempts to acquire exclusive rights to air al-Jazeera's BeIn Sports channel on its Canal+ platform were blocked by French regulators. Vivendi had agreed to take an exclusive feed from BeIn for E1.5bn, but regulators found this would give Canal+ around 80% of live sports broadcast rights in France, and a virtual monopoly of French Ligue 1 football matches. BeIn has spent heavily to acquire football rights in France. Among other coups, it secured exclusive pay-TV rights to all the current Euro 2016 tournament.
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Feb 2016: Ads of the Week: "The Fan". BETC Paris puts another one in the back of the net for long-time client Canal+. It's a simple but brilliant idea, and one that has probably passed briefly through the mind of anyone who's ever attended a major sporting event without taking seed. How frustrating must the life of a crowd steward be... always there but never really there. With typical skill, BETC takes that thought and brings it to life. Brilliant - and heart warming too.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd April 2015: Ads of the Week "The Battle". Here's another in a long series of fine ads from BETC Paris for core client Canal+, or in this case its satellite platform CanalSat. The spot even has its own helpful explanatory title card in case non-French viewers or anyone unfamiliar with Game Of Thrones doesn't understand the concept!
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Jan 2015: Ads of the Week "Unicorns". Any new ad from BETC Paris for local pay-TV giant Canal+ is a highlight of the week. Here the team behind the multi- award-winning The Bear and The Cabinet spots turn their attention to that old biblical chestnut of Noah's Ark. Clearly this is the film Darren Aronofsky *should* have made instead of that one with Russell Crowe. It's much shorter, funnier and definitely has more balls.
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