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Script competition

Canal+ blames Netflix as CanalPlay axed

French pay TV broadcaster Canal+ is to close its SVoD service CanalPlay due to a fall in subscription numbers and increased competition in the market.

Maxime Saada

The news was announced by Maxime Saada, chair of the Canal+ board, who appeared before the French Senate’s culture and communications commission last week.

He said the rise of streaming giant Netflix was particularly to blame for his platform’s demise, with subscriptions falling from 800,000 at their peak to just 200,000 today.

“It’s over for CanalPlay,” said Saada. “In the past two years, we have been taken off the map in this market, which is supplanting television. We had a French Netflix, it was killed.”

Saada appeared to discuss regulation of the audio-visual sector and called for updated regulations to protect French producers when it came to the ownership of content rights.

“We are competing with hegemonic US players which are recruiting 100,000 subscribers each month in France and investing billions of dollars in content,” added the exec.

CanalPlay launched in France in 2011, three years before Netflix arrived in the country. Two years ago, Netflix hit out at the European Commission’s plans to impose a local content quota on streaming services.

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