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Verley leaves France TV for new network

France Télévisions exec Julien Verley is to leave his business development role at the public broadcaster to oversee the launch of an international channel and streaming service.

Julien Verley

France+ Channel and its sibling France+ App will offer between 2,500 and 3,000 hours of programming each year, which will include French content as well as “cherry picked” European movies, drama, documentaries, animation, and performing arts and magazine shows. The content will be fully dubbed and subtitled in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

Verley will step down as director of business development at France TV at the end of this month to focus on the project. His remit at the pubcaster includes business development of advertising, distribution, in-house production and direct-to-consumer offerings.

He said the new offering would be similar to that of Britbox, the streaming service offering British content in North America that was launched by UK pubcaster the BBC and commercial rival ITV in 2017. A UK version of Britbox is also in the works.

Discussions are underway for France+ to secure rights from IP owners including Canal+, France TV and TF1 Group, while the project is in the midst of raising funds from investors. Verley said the forthcoming services would “expose, globally, French audiovisual creation” and contrast the offerings from English-language streamers.

It will initially target English- and Spanish-speaking audiences, as well as the Chinese, “providing a very large potential globally to expose French and European creations, mainly in territories where they have been marginally exploited.”

“It is not intended to commercialise this offer in French-speaking countries nor in Western Europe, except the UK and Spain, as the export market of French programmes is already well developed,” Verley said.

The exec, who worked for Canal+ before taking up his role at France TV in 2017, thanked the latter’s president, Delphine Ernotte Cunci, for her support for the new venture.

He added: “The quality, the diversity and the depth of French and European programmes represent an undervalued and underexploited mine.”

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