France's Allocine Heads From Web to Small Screen With New TV Channel

Allocine TV is expected to reach 35 million viewers via cable, satellite and ADSL.

PARIS - While the world’s TV networks have been pushed to launch websites in the wake of the necessity of multi-platform technology, France’s main movies site Allocine is heading in the other direction and bringing its web savvy to the small screen with a new TV channel.

Allocine group's president and CEO Gregoire Lassalle and head of AlloCine TV's Alain Le Diberder unveiled their plans for the channel at a press conference in Paris on Tuesday.

Allocine TV launched last month and will officialize its offer on Oct. 5 on cable, satellite and ADSL with a 24/7 network devoted 100 percent to France’s “seventh art form” the cinema.

“This channel is economically ambitious,” Lassalle said of the first web-to-TV launch in the territory, but added: “It’s a challenge, but one that we welcome.”

Allocine TV is expected to reach 35 million viewers via numericable on cable, SFR, Free, Orange and Bouyges on ADSL and Canalsat on satellite. The company will shoot at a new production studio near their offices on Paris’ Champs-Elysees. In addition to screening films, Allocine TV will produce more than 15 short programs ranging from five to 26 minutes long with original content.

All of the network’s shows are internally-produced. Allocine is currently France’s top movies website and hopes to expand its popularity into the TV arena. “The channel is home made. We did casting internally. The whole company is contributing to the channel,” Lassalle said of the unique endeavor.

Lassalle estimated the budget to be between €6 million - €8 million ($8.2 million - $11 million) and expects to see profits in around three years from now. “It was indispensable with the new economic model for us to be present in this format,” he said.

Allocine already boasts 200,000 mobile users per day through its apps, more than 1 million unique visitors per day on its website and a presence on connected TV through deals with Samsung, Panasonic, Neufbox, SFR and Phillips.

Allocine’s site is already in several countries throughout the globe including Screenrush in the U.K., Spanish site SensaCine, Mtime in China, Allocine Canada, Kinopoisk in Russia and Filmstarts in Germany.

The group is also hoping to expand its reach into the U.S. in the coming years, but doesn’t see itself competing with IMDB. “IMDB is a huge database. We’re more entertainment,” Lassalle explained. He added: “We come from the web, so we’re low cost, more supple and quicker. We want to adapt our web state of mind to television.”

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