Representatives of the cinema industry and the Canal + group announced last week the signing of an agreement, extending at least until 2024 the historic partnership that has linked them for about thirty years and makes the encrypted channel the main one. contributor of this sector. A relief for professional organizations which had been worried for several months about a possible disengagement from the group.
His boss, Maxime Saada, did not hide that he found the contribution of Canal + to this financing, calculated as a percentage of its turnover, too high and that he wanted to reduce his investments in the cinema. According to information from Figaro, it would even have considered, to reduce this cost, to separate its offer in two and to create a channel for the cinema and a channel for the sport, thus abandoning in the passage its generalist format.
200 million euros per year by 2024
In this context, the agreement signed Thursday, December 2 seems unexpected. The group is committed to paying 200 million euros per year over the next three years to pre-finance a hundred French or European films which will be broadcast on Canal + and Ciné +, the group’s cinema channel. This is more than its current contribution (160 million) even if this sum is now fixed and no longer calculated on the turnover of the group.
A generosity that is not without compensation. The Vivendi subsidiary thus hopes to maintain its advantage in “the chronology of the media”, which fixes the time between the release of a film in theaters and its date of broadcast on television or online.
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These rules are currently being renegotiated to take into account the arrival of streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney +) and their obligation to contribute 25% of their turnover in local audiovisual production.
The agreement signed by Canal + requires, “By virtue of its renewed status as the leading contributor to French and European cinema”, to see its own window for the dissemination of works to be reduced to six months after their theatrical release (compared to eight months today). And especially to keep the exclusivity for at least nine months. This would postpone the second broadcast window to fifteen or sixteen months, while the platforms demanded to see it reduced to twelve months (against thirty-six currently).
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Another clause, revealed by The world, would also require other traditional channels (TF1, M6, France Télévisions and Arte) to limit to ten the number of films offered for rebroadcasting on their site which would compete with its pay offer. If it did not obtain satisfaction on these points, the Canal + group would reduce its contribution by 30 to 50 million euros per year.
Hence the eagerness of film organizations to ask in a press release “The adoption of the new media chronology proposed and an adjustment of the regulations so that this agreement comes into force as quickly as possible and secures the financing of the sector in a sustainable way”. Asked by AFP, Netflix did not wish to react, indicating that it had to “First take note of the agreement”. All must indeed agree by early February around the new rules, otherwise it will be up to the government to decide.