Disney+ and Canal Plus Group Strike Deal For Exclusive Distribution in France

Ahead of the Disney+’s launch on March 31, 2020 in France, Disney+ has signed an executive distribution agreement with Canal Plus Group, France’s leading pay-TV company, according to Variety.

What’s Happening:

  • The deal was first reported in a French newspaper, Les Echos, but was later confirmed in a tweet by Canal Plus Group CEO Maxime Saada.
  • Disney and Canal Plus have had a long running relationship, including previous programming agreements that gave Canal Plus access to films from Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.
  • This Disney+ deal is just the latest in the relationship between the two companies.
  • Under this new agreement, Canal Plus will be the sole distributor of Disney+ in France, meaning that other telecommunications groups like Orange, SFR, and Bouygues Telecom and Free will still have to go through Canal Plus to access Disney+.
  • Canal Plus will also retain their exclusive rights to Disney Content, like the Star Wars and Avengers movies, as well as being the only distributor of Disney Junior, Disney Channel and other Walt Disney Company networks, but will continue to distribute National Geographic, Voyage, and Fox Play channels.
  • The Walt Disney Company also has licensing deals in other European markets, including one with Sky in the U.K., Italy, and Germany, though it is unclear at this time how these deals will affect the content available on Disney+ in those regions until the pre-existing deals expire.
  • Partnering with Canal Plus Group marks an important step for Disney+ in France, where most pay-TV subscribers use boxes to access content.
  • The Disney+ deal is another example of the French pay-TV group’s current strategy to strike alliances with streaming giants and potential rivals to position themselves as aggregators of premium services and content.
  • Canal Plus Group has been on a drive to recruit more subscribers in France with strategies like launching cheaper packages to lure millennials and by forging ties with other local telcos, such as Free and OCS.

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