171 axed in Canal Plus-TPS merger


PARIS -- European pay TV company Canal Plus France, the new outfit created from Canal Plus' recent takeover of rival operator TPS, announced Tuesday the elimination of 171 jobs.

Out of a total of 3,840 positions, the new entity said it planned to cut 364, or about 10% of its work force, but only 171 people will be directly affected thanks to pre-planning since the company's decision to merge with TPS more than a year ago.

Since the merger announcement, posts at Canal Plus have been filled with temporary contracts and many employees will move to other divisions of the company, such as marketing and sales.

The reorganization decision marks the first visible consequence of the merger that was finalized Jan. 5. The merger also calls for the reorganization of TPS channels to create one unified package to sell to consumers.

Canal Plus France, which currently boasts more than 10 million subscribers, will keep seven out of the 14 total channels at Canal Plus and TPS combined, with TPS channels Cinestar, Cineculte and Cinetoile set to survive the merger, and TPS Foot, the former pay TV giant's soccer channel, to be kicked out of the deal.

Canal Plus refused comment on the reorganization.

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