Showtime Brand Coming to France for First Time in Exclusive Deal With CanalPlus

Screengrab/Twin Peaks
'Twin Peaks'

It will also bring programming to French-speaking Africa, Switzerland and Monaco, the companies said.

France's CanalPlus Group and CBS Corp. on Wednesday unveiled an exclusive long-term licensing and trademark agreement that will bring the Showtime brand to France for the first time.

The deal also includes hundreds of hours of Showtime original series and future programming. CanalPlus is currently airing Showtime hit series Homeland in France and used to also show Dexter.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The agreement is the latest for Showtime in international markets. CBS Corp. has previously struck similar deals that have created Showtime homes rather than simply licensed individual shows with Sky in the U.K., Germany and Italy, Bell Canada, Stan in Australia and Movistar Spain.

The deal comes as parent company Viviendi is looking to draw subscribers back to the channel. CanalPlus lost nearly 500,000 subscribers in France in 2016 alone.

CanalPlus will have the exclusive rights for at least 10 current and future series produced by the premium TV brand, making it "the preferred home of Showtime in France," the companies said. "The agreement marks a significant expansion of the Showtime brand in one of Europe’s biggest media markets and will also bring Showtime programming to French-speaking Africa, Switzerland and Monaco."

Included in the agreement are current and upcoming shows, such as Twin Peaks, which is returning after 25 years as a limited series written by creators Mark Frost and David Lynch and directed by David Lynch; Wall Street drama Billions, starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis; and I’m Dying up Here, a new drama executive produced by Jim Carrey.

The deal also includes the Showtime library with hundreds of hours of series, including Ray Donovan, The Affair, Nurse Jackie, The Borgias, Californication and Dexter.

"The value and prestige of the Showtime brand continues to grow rapidly in the global marketplace with this latest agreement a testament to the strength and quality of incredible programming being produced by Showtime," said Armando Nunez, president and CEO of CBS Studios International. 

Maxime Saada, CEO of CanalPlus Group, said: “We are very excited to further extend our long-standing partnership with CBS for Showtime original series, which have always been favorites among our subscribers ever since we started airing Dexter in 2007. We can only admire the quality and variety of their lineup and the great characters they create and feel thrilled and privileged to bring this to the broadest possible audiences in France.”

It follows a similar exclusive rights deal signed by HBO with rival Orange's channels as competition for subscribers heats up in France. Orange's OCS will have exclusive rights to current and upcoming series such as Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones and Westworld, while sister channels have shows such as Real Time with Bill Maher.

CanalPlus is set to lose second window rights to HBO programming next year.  

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