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Salto wins approval for French launch

A new SVoD service from the three main terrestrial broadcasters in France aimed at rivalling Netflix and Amazon has been given the green light by competition authorities.

Delphine Ernotte Cunci

Salto will launch in 2020 after the French Competition Authority (l’Autorité de la Concurrence) approved an application for a new streaming service from the country’s three major free-to-air broadcasters.

France Télévisions, TF1 and M6 (Métropole Télévision) unveiled their planned joint OTT service in June 2018. At the time they said Salto would “actively promote” the creation of French and European programming.

Salto will include linear DTT channels, catch-up services and an SVoD service all likely to launch in the first quarter of 2020.

The competition watchdog approved the service on the condition that the three companies must work together to include anti-competition measures in the rights acquisition market, the commercialisation of TV channels, the distribution of pay TV services and the advertising market.

It described Salto as a response to a major shift in consumption of media that “powerful services such as Netflix have accelerated in recent years.”

“Now that Salto has been approved, we will at last be able to put together Team France in broadcasting, which I have been longing for,” said France Télévisions chief-executive Delphine Ernotte Cunci.

“The launch of the platform will very soon give us what we need to compete against international players on our own territory. And it will be a new way for the French and European creative industries to engage with their public.”

Salto’s launch comes amid a trend of launching local responses to global SVoD companies in Europe.

Last month UK public broadcaster BBC and commercial broadcaster ITV revealed their plans to launch Britbox in the UK following its debut in the US. They said Britbox would offer the “biggest collection” of British content available on any streaming service.

Meanwhile, ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery launched Joyn in Germany earlier this year. The joint-venture free streaming service is described as the largest in Germany and offers 55 channels with the broadcasters teaming up with major and local broadcasters to source content.

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