The main French broadcasting companies have reached an agreement with the producers that will allow them to remove their content from streaming services – including Netflix and Amazon – in order to be able to broadcast it exclusively on their own competitive platform, which is still under construction. .
Last summer, the French channels France Televisions, M6 and TF1 unveiled the plans of Salto. This OTT service would be like Netflix, but focused on French content, presumably for French viewers. The deal was another sign of growing resentment in Europe, especially in the creative field, in the face of the loss of control of the US tech giants.
Last October, for example, Delphine Ernotte, chief executive of France Televisions, said she was frustrated that much of the content of the network appeared on overseas services. . "We have to stop dancing with the Netflix devil," she said. And the European Union has adopted rules requiring all these streaming services to have at least 30% local content. This metric could become harder to reach without French TV shows.
Beyond cultural issues, the fight against services such as Netflix goes to the heart of how France finances such cultural activities. France Télévisions holds France 2, France 3, France 4, France 5 and France Ô. The company earns revenue from advertising and television license fees. It also finances a good part of the television production.
While viewers are moving away or watching this content on other platforms, this carefully calibrated model is eroding. Salto has been proposed to allow partners to restore a certain balance and better recover their investments.
But first they needed to bring in the producers. This finally took place today, according to a story in Paris Le Figaro.
Prior to the transaction, these broadcasters had limited rights to rebroadcast content via services such as their own website or cable retransmission services, sometimes as short as seven days for the latter. In some cases, a program broadcast on French television is available on Netflix a week later.
The producers have agreed to give Salto's partners much more extensive and exclusive content rights, so that viewers can watch a series in French for several years after its appearance. This will essentially prevent French producers from selling the same content to Netflix, Amazon and others.
In return, the partners agreed to increase the amount of programs purchased from independent producers from 75% to 82.5%.
Although this is settled, many questions remain around Salto. When will it be launched? How much will it cost? Where will it be available? And it is possible that, even if Salto has a financial sense, it may reduce the size of the broadcast audience if they are no longer widely available to international audiences.